Jesus spoke to them in parables… Mark 3:23
As my friend and Melanie’s prayer partner lay dying, I sensed the Lord saying to me, “Carol is waking up.” This was followed immediately by the thought, “The rest of us are still in Sleepy Land, dreaming.”
I’ve pondered what this imagery is telling me and it has been like listening to Jesus tell one of his parables. In those parables Jesus would describe people and things and common situations. But those were not really what he was talking about.
What does the everyday experience of dreams and waking up tell me about life?
In my dreams I am convinced I am awake, making my way through situations that are full of drama and challenge. In my dreams I have rarely had any doubt about what was happening. Anxieties, excitement, engagement with the events before me – I live a “real life” in my dreams. Until I wake up. Then I experience disorientation as my mind tries to sort out what is “real” from what is real. Emotions stirred up by my dreams linger for a moment, like fog that is burning away in the daylight.
The unreality of that oh-so-vivid dream world soon becomes clear to me. It is time to rub the sleep from my eyes so I can see clearly what was actually all around the whole time.
My dreams are composed of echoes of the real world I know. Familiar faces show up as if their presence was entirely normal in whatever activity is humming about. It is not until I wake up that I realize these dots do not actually connect in that way. These friends whose company I’ve been keeping in my dreams may not even know each other in my real life.
These dots have a basis in truth but they connect in other ways once I wake up. Those things that riveted my attention while asleep I usually can’t remember by the time my feet hit the floor and I rise to wash and dress myself for a real day, a day that never enters my mind while I remain in the Sleepy Land.
On a Friday evening, the day she was brought home from the hospital, her husband in a vigil by her side, Carol woke up. I suspect Jesus gently rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
For her family and friends the nighttime was approaching and all of us soon went, tears in our eyes, from one dreamland to another.
But my friend Carol is wide awake at last.