Friday, November 04, 2011

4th November

Well it’s started and it’s now only 7pm on the rather explosive Guy Fawkes celebratory weekend. Yes, despite the rain, my near neighbours are spending a small fortune on fireworks once again. And I’m not. Mind you we never really did go overboard in that way, seeing it more as an opportunity to have a big ‘clean-up’ bonfire and lots of traditional food with as many of our children and grandchildren as we could get together. My large garden was ideal for family events like this, and I have so many memories of standing around the late night embers sharing dreams… with my arm linked with Jane’s. But the life I live now was never part of the plan for sure.

So what is the plan? I’m still walking into the future with great hope, but right now my vision is somewhat clouded with grief so it’s not easy or even necessary to move on apace. But I’m still thinking about hearing the voice of God, not a physical voice of course as God communicates through his Holy Spirit directly to our spirits. And when he does, for me, it’s as though there’s something deep inside that almost settles in my stomach. I simply know that I know that God is saying something. I suppose you could call that an act of faith, believing that God is speaking; and often I quickly realise that it doesn’t fit anything I could have worked out or made up for myself. It’s an external word spoken to my heart rather than my mind. Ok, I’d like to work through an example which has been puzzling me for a couple of days now and to be honest I can’t decide if God is saying something or not…

Dreams. God uses dreams sometimes to speak to us. In the Bible we see numerous examples… for example, Joseph in the Old Testament dreaming of his family bowing down to him, and Joseph, step-father to Jesus, being warned to leave the country. Over the years I’ve worked out that if I can remember my dream, sometime after I wake up, it should be considered as exposing something relevant to my life. And I do recognise that our unconscious mind processes all sorts of thought patterns mixed with our emotional concerns which may be absolutely nothing to do with the Lord. Jane and I often shared these occasional dreams with each other and I always found it helpful even though she held nothing back with a strong word now and again! But I can’t do that now.

A couple of nights ago I dreamt I was with Jane… not surprising of course as that’s the only way I get to spend time with her now. And we had a celebratory visitor come to talk to us. Eric Clapton. And yes I’ve been a fan of his for decades, some say I’m a bit of a look-a-like and I once even got challenged in the street! My guitar playing is certainly not in that class though. Anyway the guy sat down next to us asking how we were and I shared that I’d recently been bereaved. The odd thing is, remember this is weird dreamland, Jane then butted in and expanded a little on the details. We then talked technical stuff on guitars; apparently he quite rates the G7 capo I use, and then he gave me a lesson covering blues technique.

So what is that all about then? Probably nothing, but why is it niggling away at me after a couple of days. It may simply be an understandable desire to recapture my life with Jane allied with an equally pointless wish to improve my quite reasonable guitar skills up to professional standard. Neither of these things is going to happen, but in my unconscious I maybe want them to. I’d quickly rule out Eric Clapton from my ‘must meet’ list as that doesn’t register at all. Ok, that leaves me with the thought that if God were speaking through that dream it could be nothing to do with Jane, or guitar skill, or Eric Clapton. Is the Lord saying I need professional help in another area of my life? I’ve had some bereavement counselling with a PhD qualified Christian mental health professional, but that seems like enough at the moment. So what else? Maybe mentoring in a different area of life? Or have I got this totally wrong… any ideas anyone?

Genesis 40:8 “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.” “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.” (NLT)

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