May I share with you my dream, and its sequel? I’ve never
been a big one for dreaming, and until this dream, I’d never, until this dream,
received instruction in a dream.
The first dream: Many of us were on a large wooden ship. It was
the size of a supertanker, but it was wooden. I don't know where it was going,
and I don't think I ever did learn.
Below deck, on a very large deck, was a smaller ship: not a
boat, a ship. As my wife was away, talking with crew or passengers, I was below
decks, preparing that ship.
There were two things that were both heavy that I was
loading up on. One was crowbars: not a "j" shape crowbar, but more of
a "t" shaped crowbar. I loaded about 20 or 30 of them onto the
smaller ship. I don't remember the other.
It seemed that I broke out a wall or a deck of the big ship
in order to get the smaller ship out, and my wife showed up about that time to
go with me. I woke up before we launched the smaller ship.
I had the dream during the time that I was enrolled in a
dream interpretation class, so I shared it with my friends in the class. They
agreed: The large ship is the Sunday Morning church, and truthfully, I didn’t
really know where that was going. My small ship below decks was a heads up: God
was calling me out of the established church into something more personal. The
crowbars were preparation for me to help others into similar freedom.
What these good people didn’t know was that God had been
calling me to do something I hadn’t done in nearly 50 years in the faith: to
disengage from my local congregation, and to take responsibility for our own
spiritual life, apart from a larger congregation: to become “unchurched.” It
scared the stuffing out of me, which may be part of why Father affirmed it in a
----- Interlude -----
Eighteen months later, I had left the Sunday Morning
community, and my head was still spinning; this was something I’d never done
before, something that I had regularly taught against, that I had prayed against. In that confusing season, I had
the sequel to the dream, a dream that picked up right after the point the dream
In that dream, I had succeeded at launching the small ship
out of the hole in the port side of the big ship. I watched as the big ship
steamed on, unaware of our departure. When the great ship was out of sight over
the horizon, I realized four things:
1) I suddenly saw my surroundings, and I realized that the
only things I could see were waves. I had no idea where in the vast ocean I had
departed from the great ship. I didn’t know where I was. I had no bearings.
2) Those waves had appeared as insignificant to the great
ship. But now, in my small craft among them, they appeared much bigger. In
fact, they were taller than our masts, though they did not threaten to capsize
us. Suddenly, the waves captured a much greater portion of my attention; I was now far more aware of what was going on around me. (Note:
both the sky and the waves were grey.)
3) I hadn't noticed this before. My small ship still had no
sails up, and I'm not entirely convinced that I had sails on board. I had no means of moving, no means of steering my course. I was not
anxious about that fact; in fact, in the dream, I was not attentive to it.
4) Everything was so quiet! I could hear everything: the
seabirds, the waves slapping my ship, the wind in the rigging.
As the dream ended, I realized that it perfectly represented
my life in this season, where I was experiencing things I’d never experienced
in my life before:
1) I was lost in a vast ocean: In truth, I didn’t actually
know where I was in this great process that God is taking me through. I didn’t
have any real reference points that mattered any more: experiential, social,
psychological, theological. Everything was up in the air.
2) The waves appeared much bigger: There are issues around,
issues that I never noticed before, that were now large and important to me. I
had never really taken personal responsibility for my life and ministry before.
Suddenly, I was aware of things God was emphasizing that I hadn’t even seen
before. And now, I recognized gifts, particularly leadership gifts, on people
outside of the traditional leadership positions, where I had never suspected
3) I had no sails: It was absolutely clear that I now had no
control over my life and ministry. I had no capacity to choose if I would be
ministering, or where, or with whom. The most unusual opportunities kept
opening up, and I had no control over them.
4) Everything was so quiet: Without all the corporate noise
in the background, suddenly, I was hearing Father’s voice so much clearer than
It was incredibly comforting to have Father re-affirm all
that I was experiencing, to know that he had all this in hand. Even though it
was new and unsettling for me, it was still completely in his hands.
I felt the need to share this experience (or this set of
experiences) because I believe that there are others who are going through this
kind of transition, or similar transitions. I want to say to you: Father knows
what you’re going through, you can trust him. You can trust him to speak to you
through dreams, and through your friends in the transition.