Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Dream

Last night I had a dream. When I woke, I immediately knew what my dream represented in my life. I was not afraid or upset or angry, though the scenario was very upsetting in itself. The only thing that might pass for an emotion was certainty, if that is an emotion. I woke up with awareness of what it meant and certainty about what it represented. Here is the dream:

I was in danger. Everyone was in danger. The country was under siege from some nefarious force and it wasn't safe to stay. It was imperative that we all escape. Escape or perish.

Somehow I heard that if I got to the docks, I could find a way of escape. I don't remember a voice telling me, but then you know how dreams are. I headed for the docks with determination and focus.

When I got to the docks, there were people there ahead of me. The boats that would take us to safety were a ways from the dock. You had to jump into the water and swim out to the boats. When you got to the boat, people would help you in. There were people on the docks keeping order, sort of in charge, making sure that people stayed in line and didn't all go at once? At any rate, they were in charge of the process.

The water was dark and murky. Underwater visibility was probably six feet or so. The distance one had to swim was probably ten or fifteen yards.

A little girl was in line in front of me. She was older but still pre-adolescent, a beautiful girl with big dark eyes and long dark hair.

She jumped into the water as told, but immediately she began to flounder in the water. She obviously could not swim. She was splashing around in terror, plainly in distress.

I waited for one of the people in charge to jump in and help her, but no one came to her aid. I couldn't believe that no one in charge cared whether she made it to safety or not!

Finally she started to sink, and I jumped in to try to save her. The water was too murky and I had waited too long, thinking others besides me would do something. I couldn't find her, though I dove as deep as I could.

As I was coming up for air, I knew. I knew the people on the boat were not going to take me to safety. They were going to make me a slave.

I knew that they didn't care that the little girls were drowning, and they planned to make slaves of all the women who got into their boat.

And then I woke up.

The country being in danger and everyone who stayed being destined for destruction represents the human condition. The salvation that I heard about was the gospel.

So I headed resolutely to Jesus, embracing the way of salvation.

But when I got near, I saw the fundamentalist/patriarchal/evangelical church that told me about salvation, was actually a fraud.

They don't care if their false doctrine destroys little girls and enslaves women.

I wish my dream had gone on a bit longer. I would like to know if I was able to escape, and if so, did I take any little girls with me? I wonder if I would've dreamed I swam away on my own, or if I would have climbed back up onto the docks to warn the other women. I don't know.

I just woke up knowing the truth about the church I was raised in.

Powerful stuff, truth.


  1. I read your dream yesterday but couldn't comment right away.
    Very, very on target. The neglect of the spirit of women in patriarchy and many comp circles is appalling

    It reminds me of a dream I had that I describe here:

    In addition to the possible interpretations of this dream that I list in the post, I also feel that the apples represent women, girls in the patriarchal circles.
    The dream is about the spirit and control within the church and what it does to the fruit that the church is producing.
    At least I think it applies.
    What do you think?

  2. Just last night I had a dream of the following sort. I am trying to go about my life in some way (read something for research I'm doing, prepare a meal, attend to the needs of one of my cats - or, in this case, all three) but I'm at church, and I have to somehow attend service and do the other task at the same time. It's not as scary as your dream - it's kind of funny upon waking - but in the dream I feel stressed and anxious, and as though I have to hide all my needs and efforts from the worshiping congregation (the church service just keeps going, songs and sermons, while I go in and out trying to get my work done).

    I've also had some scary dreams where it's not permitted to leave the church building, so I'm running and hiding in ditches, trying to hitchhike out of town, but I'm always brought back, and I'm so afraid of what will happen that I wake up.

    And my parents' church was a nice church full of nice people! I think it's what they're teaching that produces these kinds of feelings for people who grew up there, took the teachings seriously. My church did use isolating and exceptionalist us/them rhetoric (political, denominational, cultural). For the home schooled kids and teenagers, the "us" seemed awfully small, maybe even too small to accommodate our futures. It certainly hasn't accommodated mine -- and I guess that still stresses me out on some level! Yikes!

  3. Thank you all for responding.

    I agree with what you wrote on your blog, Mara, about the dream being more about the dreamer than anything else.

    I think all your interpretations of your dream are sound. The apples could very well represent women, especially see how hard-hearted the steward was even though they lay crushed in the street. Grrrr.

    Years ago I read Sue Monk Kidd's book about her choice to leave Christianity, and I pitied her. I did not understand why she hurt so bad about how evangelical/patriarchal/fundamentalist Christianity treated women. After all, here she was a published author! One of the blessed few!

    I am sure being a house slave, so to speak, did not make slavery any less bitter. Also I am sure her heart aches (as does mine) for the women who suffer more severely.

    What to do? I am very happy in my current church, and LCMC congregation, and men like Wade Burleson, Jon Zen, and Del Birkey give me hope for the future.

    On the other hand, the hatemongers are so arrogant and loud, the Kevin Swansons and John Pipers, claiming to have divine right to rule and laughing at the oppression man-rule brings- even to the point of watching little girls die and doing nothing. Right now that is only figuratively, but thought proceeds action, and their hearts are very very hardened to the daughters of the faith.

    Be, I am glad you are dreaming, and I hope your (our) spirits will keep taking us in dreams where we fear to go in conscious thought. Maybe some day you will dream and get away and NOT go back, first in your dreams and then in real life.

    The fundamentalist/patriarchal/evangelical church is full of wicked shepherds who fleece the flock of God for themselves and neglect the bruised and hurting. I will never go back.