Dream On | Sojourners

Dream On

Dreams are the language of God, I’m told. If that’s the case, God has some wild ways of communicating. There’s the time I had the conversation with Andy Griffith on a bus about how great the ’50s were. And just the other night, I was playing in the NBA on a team with Charles Barkley. But that’s another story altogether.

My dreams seem to become particularly vivid at times of crisis or upheaval. Occasionally I wake up with my heart pounding, having been faced in my sleep with some overwhelmingly difficult task that reflects a feeling of inadequacy in my conscious life (like standing at the free-throw line in the last game of the NBA finals, with one second on the clock, my team down by a point, and Charles Barkley in my face saying, "If you miss this shot, it’s all over"—then having the basket suddenly fade back almost out of view and the ref tell me, "When it’s this far away, it has to be a hook shot.")

But more and more, my dreams seem to communicate reassurance and a sense of God’s grace. During a time of difficult transition, I had a dream that left an imprint that will last forever:

I am in a house with bright, white walls and shiny wooden floors. The house is flooded with sunshine and warmth. A couple is there, a man and woman with whom I feel a sense of affection.

The man comes toward me with a sack and says, "Would you carry this across the river for us?" I don’t know anything about the river, or what’s in the sack, but I agree to take it because they are my friends.

I step outside, through glass doors, carrying the sack, and I realize that the house is perched against a sheer rock face. Far below me is a rushing river that flows through a deep gorge. There is only one way I can walk, along a very narrow ledge—the width of one of my feet.

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Sojourners Magazine May 1994
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