Lent is coming, and I find myself pondering where I am being invited to grow. A couple of recent dreams and one of my poems seem to be offering some insight.
For many years, I was in a dream group, meeting regularly with a couple of friends to share our dreams. I believe that God speaks to me through my dreams in the same way God spoke to people during Biblical times, so I try to pay attention to my dreams.
Belonging to a dream group helped me to be disciplined about recording my dreams, and the questions and insights of the other group members helped me gain understanding of the messages in my dreams.
I also learned from those groups that sharing dreams makes me vulnerable because dreams often reveal something of which I am unaware in my waking life; dreams uncover my blind spots and reveal what is hidden to me.
I recently had a couple of dreams that seemed significant because I remembered the emotions I felt while dreaming and a great deal of detail. I wrote out and emailed one dream to a former dream group member and asked for her insights. After a first reading, she asked if I was resisting some change in my life.
Upon reflection, I could see that I was. I am ready for a change and also fearful about it.
And then last week, a comment about one of my poems connected with the dream I had sent my friend.
The poem was about encountering a homeless person in a park, and the comment was from someone who had had a similar experience. But the truth is that I had not encountered a homeless person in a park.
So why, I asked myself, was I writing about a homeless person? Was this really about some part of me or my life being represented by a homeless person? The poem contained the same kind of hidden message as a dream might, and I realized how my writing can sometimes come from that same place within—that place that can reveal my blind spots.
God is doing something new, I thought, and using different ways to show me what it is.
Upon reflection, I can see that I am nurturing a tiny spark inside me, barely a flicker, and oh so vulnerable. It is like the vulnerability of being homeless—uncertain, unfocused, on the fringe. I fear the unknown-ness of this tiny spark.
And at the same time, I am drawn to it, wanting to protect it and watch it grow into something bigger and brighter. I want to acknowledge this spark is there, waiting patiently for me to notice it and to anticipate what it might become.
God speaks to me in many ways—through people, nature, dreams and writing—and in every moment, wishing to communicate with me. I need only to be open.