Tag Archives: dream

Catching Up: Day 2

So much time, so many pages…

Writing on the sequel, “The Light” continues, well past just one book with 135,000 words now as the series continues to grow. Meanwhile, my journaling occurs between writing stints, as seen in the latest update to “Catching Up”.

In order to try to catch back up on my lapse in blogging, I’m going to post my journal entries for several of the past few weeks. These will include drawings, random thoughts and observations of my daily life.

May you find humor, comfort and joy in all that transpires.

Journal06252014

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Epiphany Through the Fog of Time…

rainydayThe air hung heavy overhead like a cloud enveloping my mind. As I left work, I knew that I was but a whispered breath away from passing out from exhaustion, but this was my Friday, the last night’s work for the week so I would celebrate with a hot breakfast for the ride home. I had stayed longer at work that morning than was expected due to the strange feeling I had of needing to hang around and talk. When I left the building to go to my car, rain was falling in a thick mist adding to the chill of the gray morning air; sleep would come easily, but I first had to make it home safely.

By the time I had left the drive-thru with my warm breakfast in hand, the rain had subsided, but the overcast sky was dull and foreboding. To visit my favorite drive-thru meant taking the two lane road home; a dangerous option, but one that I took with the understanding my senses had to stay alert. There on the windy two-lane highway of 751 that threaded its way from one major highway to the next past farms and Jordan Lake, the scenery itself was enough to help keep your mind awake if not provide for a reminder of the seasonal world in which we live. I had just turned onto 751 when a log truck pulled out in front of me stabbing my waning energy with the likelihood of being stuck behind a slow moving vehicle. To someone who was well into the throes of sleep deprivation, getting stuck behind a slow moving object is like putting an anchor on your back and running a marathon. However, today was my lucky day, or so I thought for the truck quickly accelerated and I soon found myself losing ground to the heavy footed driver; for that I was thankful. I regained focus on the warm meal and melded with the music that was thumping along as the fields and forests passed by.

I was suddenly and quickly awakened from my trance by the red lights of the logging truck just ahead that had slowed. Not giving it much thought, I figured he or the car just ahead of him was taking a left and we’d soon be on our way; but we didn’t.

We came to a complete stop.

The rain had picked back up, and my windows were slightly fogged as was my mind. I could see the images ahead but like something unexpected when you emerge from a deep sleep, their juxtaposition and shapes don’t make sense, so they don’t register. I sat for a moment taking in the scene before me looking at dark shapes, objects blocking the road where there should be open lanes. Pools of liquid oozed from one pile of metal as fumes escaped. Nearby, the large dark object was still not making any sense. A man walked out, snapped a picture on his phone and returned from wherever he had come. It then dawned on me, the large dark object had wheels, and I was actually looking at the underneath side of a large transfer truck. Then like the slow dawn of a morning sunrise, the gravity of the situation hit me. I felt a pit in my stomach. There before me was a horrific car wreck, and from what I could see ahead of the logging truck in front of me, there was little chance the person that had been in the heap of metal still lying in the middle of the had survived. Something was odd about it all, for I didn’t see anyone walking around other than the lone photographer. I sat unthinking, feeling as sullen as the skies above. The rain pelted my window.  I turned the wipers back on to see cars beginning to turn around; we weren’t going home this way anytime soon. I felt the tug of exhaustion mixed with another feeling I couldn’t describe. I knew I had to turn around and take another route if I were going to make it home this day.

As I drove off, the farther the distance between me and the accident grew, so did the realization of what I had just witnessed. Emergency vehicles began to pass me going the opposite direction on their way to the scene. Totally unaware at the time, I soon realized, I had been one of the first people to arrive.  There hadn’t been anyone walking around because it had just happened.  That feeling I couldn’t recall earlier returned and a sensation of crushing despair flooded my soul.

My mind flashed back to the fateful night in New Harmony when a woman drove past the DOT barricades blocking the road that was a dead end which stopped on the banks of the Wabash river overlooking a small cliff. At that time, as a kid, we looked at it like the woman was just lost and had panicked; thus, flying off the end of the road and landing in the swollen river, where she and her car load of children drowned. It wasn’t until a recent reflection upon the event that I was profoundly struck with the realization that it was more than a possibility that she meant to do what she did. This would be years before another woman in South Carolina would do the same thing and attract national attention, when she climbed to safety from the sunken car leaving her own children behind to drown.

However, like the epiphany of the past in New Harmony where the truth pierces through the fog of time, so did the conclusion I could’ve possibly helped. Yet, I was in no shape with myself being on the verge of passing out at any moment. Then another burst of realization hit me, “Had I not stayed at work as long as I did, that pile of smoldering metal could have been me.” Once again, God had placed his hand upon my life, directing me, guiding my pathway for my journey was not yet complete. I said a prayer for the person or people who might have passed, for something inside told me a soul had departed from us back there on that rainy roadway.

The grayness of the day had now become one with the emotional landscape through which I drove. My mind floated from one past event to the next knowing a moment in time can make the difference between living and dying. God gave us free will, yet when we give our lives to him, we allow his presence to define who we are and how we live. I can’t help to believe that with this faith, we also allow his heavenly hand to reach down and direct our daily paths.

That night I had a dream.

littlechurchI had found a small country church, empty and abandoned. It was nothing fancy on the inside with an interior of pine paneling for walls and the typical red carpet underneath the modest wooden pews. I sat near a window and waited. Soon, as if I had expected them, there came a crowd of people dressed in what first appeared to be robes. As they drew nearer, I could see that they all had extremely pale complexions and snow white hair. Each of them wore suits of fine white linen. All but one were young men; the other being a stunningly beautiful young woman wearing a flowing white gown.. As they filed passed, I inquired to one of them as to where they were going. They told me they were going to a funeral, but they would return for me when they were finished. Something I don’t remember happened when they returned because I tried to speak in my dream, which caused me to shout out in my sleep, waking my wife who would have thrown me out of the bed if she were physically capable.  I don’t remember any more of the dream past that point.

The next morning I was still somewhat bothered by not only the accident but the dream as well. So, I decided that maybe it would help my catharsis if I sketched down what I could recall; the scene in my mind that would not go away.

751crash_sketchAs I began to draw the accident from the day before, another accident scene from my childhood came to mind. I could see the bus over the fiery figure underneath. The high school boy, Scott Knapp was his name, had pulled out on his motorcycle and crashed into the bus, getting trapped underneath. The bus was moved away from the flames, but the boy and his bike remained in the fireball on the road. We all watched from across the road, unaware at the time, there was a kid in that blazing inferno. After what seemed like an eternity, Mr. McKinney came running out of the school with an army blanket and ran to the fire, throwing the blanket on an object and pulling it free; it was the badly burned body Scott. I recall how he survived for a few days but eventually the 3rd degree burns were too much to overcome, and he died. I often wondered after that day if I had known he was still in the fire if I could have or would have done anything different.

I finished the sketch and realized I had drawn the perspective of standing in front of the logging truck that had blocked my view. I figured it was just my imagination, and left it at that. Days later, I spoke to another coworker about that morning, and we found the crash online. Just as I had feared, there had been a fatality. Mr. Harold Sugg of Pittsboro had died at the scene. Then, along with the description of the accident was the photograph. There in the 751crashnews photo was a picture exactly the same angle and direction from my drawing, the one I had done from memory.

I don’t know what all of this means, I don’t know what God is trying to say, but all I know is that I’m thankful to have had another day to hug my children and breathe a breath of fresh glorious air on this side of the green grass.

May your journey’s be fruitful and your travels safe, God Bless.

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Flames of the Spirit…

imagesCAZ5RNSOIt’s not often that dreams stay with me after I wake up but I had one recently that was so vivid and profound that even a couple days later I am still able to recall most of it with clarity. The parts that especially have stayed with me involved a celebration and someone I met; for some reason, I had stepped back in time.

The first part of the dream had something to do with an outdoor event where people dressed in long robes and dresses that one might call, “Sack Cloths”. They had gathered as a multitude upon a tree-lined grassy lawn. The congregation was celebrating some event with songs and praises. I was encouraged to come closer and join in, so I did. Shortly afterward, out of nowhere, from over our heads came a large light beige colored canopy that began to descend over the throng. I got the feeling of being inside an enormous tepee, where the sheet wrapped completely around the crowd, but angled up toward the center as if suspended by a hand from above. Folds of the canopy lay upon the grass and completely enclosed us all from the outside. The material was light enough I could still see the sunlight filtering through it.

It was at this point that I became aware of there being two factions of belief in the crowd; those who accepted faith and our ancestry unconditionally and those who believed but had difficulty accepting everything and felt obligated to track the past one brutal line for line, word for word, tracing it back through time upon part of the canopy that now hovered overhead. The non-accepting partisans had their section of cloth partitioned off into an oblong section of the strange cloth where all of their precious writings were kept. They obviously knew what was coming and had their cloth cut out from the other material, but yet it was still held in place from where it had been cut. The separated cloth was suspended by a large hoop that the cloth was stretched over and was held in place in the massive overhead canopy by leather lashes which were stitched into the main cover. It made their special cloth appear like a door stitched into the floating canopy that was sewn shut.

All believers, accepting and non-accepting began to shout and hold their hands aloft, singing praises and imagesCAXMGPNSworshipping aloud, their voices becoming one. The noise became so strong that the cloth overhead began to rise off the ground. I could see light from underneath the bottom of the great sheet as our shouts lifted it higher. Suddenly, there appeared flames above us, flames that soon caught the overhead canopy on fire and it began to burn. The flames were mostly clear but flickers of yellow and blue sporadically appeared on the edges of the cloth being burnt. Blue sky could be seen through the holes where the fire had burnt and before long the flames had entirely consumed the cloth, allowing the sun and sky to shine on us once more. The oblong cloth stretched over the hoop had been unharmed by the flames and fell gently upon the green lawn below, where it was immediately examined and found to be safe from harm. A chorus of elated voices followed as everyone was overjoyed to find the history had been preserved. It was odd, but those who had been accepting and those who hadn’t had suddenly become one in spirit; the sensation of being divided had vanished like the cloth overhead. I had an urge to share with them how amazing this was but then a strange feeling came over me: I became aware that there was a reason I was here but that I wasn’t to tell anyone what I knew. For some reason I realized my knowledge would only cause trouble and change the course of history; a tragedy for all. So I kept quiet and continued to take it all in.

imagesCA1HVR49From this courtyard of celebration I was led past several small buildings until we reached the yard of a humble dwelling; its functionality greatly outweighed its aesthetics. In front of the home was an elder seated at a table made of roughhewn wooden slats. His white hair was bushy but shoulder length with a smattering of gray streaks throughout.  At first he looked as if he had black bushy eyebrows but once my eyes became accustom to the light, I realized he wore thick black rimmed glasses. His face was clean shaven but the lines of age had etched their mark leaving the corners of his mouth in a permanent frown. He motioned for me to join him and my guests soon left us. He introduced himself, but I didn’t catch his name. I only understood him to be an ancient relative whose message to me was of grave importance. He proceeded to tell me that it was vital for me to understand that monetary things of this world could not be taken with us to the other side. He explained that it was our duty to make what was left behind not easily accessible to those who might be considered our heirs lest it corrupt them and cause anguish. Rather, we had to invest our wealth in things that would continue to grow over time and would enrich the lives of those loved ones we left behind. Their ability to cash out these investments must be made unreachable and only the maturity of our investment be realized from something other than worldly possessions.

I was confused by his words and pondered it at great length. He realized my frustration and then confirmed the feeling I had felt moments earlier when he said, “You are here for a reason and cannot tell anyone, lest you cause great harm. Go and continue your journey and continue to share your story as before.”

I awoke and felt as if I had visited someone very dear, but his face was as unknown to me as was his name. I got up began to go about my day as normal and kept reflecting back on the dream. As the hours passed only certain aspects of the dream began to slip away yet the celebration, the face of the elder and his message stayed with me.

I began to think of the dream in context after hearing another family member talk about loved ones coming back to visit us after they had died and then it dawned on me what the dream had been about. I was no longer perplexed but thankful for the vision and realized the power of the Holy spirit like that of fire, consuming all that tries to smother it, eventually overwhelming all that attempt to block out it’s light revealing the truth and uniting our faith as one.

I might not ever know for sure who the elder was in the dream, but I have a pretty good idea…Lux Lucet in Tenebris.

What do you think?

“And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”[a] 7 In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”[b] 8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” – Hebrews 1:6-8

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Trains Blowin’ in the Wind…

I have no idea where I was, other than there being green grass on a hillside that dropped off into a valley below. I was there to preach a sermon to a people, yet I had seen nobody. All around me there were what appeared to be white sheets hanging down from the sky, as if there were a huge clothesline in the heavens hanging their laundry out to dry. I searched for someplace secluded that I could change out of my overalls into my suit, so I could prepare for today’s preaching. I was doing like my good friend, Pastor Johnson had suggested and dress up. So today, I actually brought a suit to wear for today’s ministering.

I found a little building setting off to one side, away from the expanse of white cloth that was gently swaying in the breeze. There was a tiny bathroom in the building, and once inside I realized it was so disgustingly filthy that I was afraid to lay anything down, which made changing all that much more difficult. There was no sink in the room, just the toilet. The toilet was the institutional type, so there was no tank or lid where one could place belongings upon. Changing in here would be liability if nothing else, but I continued on.  I eventually succeeded and re-emerged from the glorified outhouse to still find the sheets wafting gently over the green vista before me. The clean air made me quickly forget the filth I had just experienced and I walked through the sweet smelling sheets, reaching out and feeling their freshness as I walked passed. Somehow, touching them made me feel whole and gave me great comfort.

I awoke from the dream, only having acquired half of the sleep I needed for the day, but was somehow refreshed. I wrote down what I had seen just then, but didn’t understand it or what it meant; if anything. I figured I’d give it some time and if it was important, God would reveal it to me.

Sunday we were sitting in our class, preparing for the lesson. The class was speaking about concerns for the members and while they were doing so I looked over my neighbors shoulder to find out what scripture was being covered in today’s lesson. I had missed several weeks and didn’t have the new study guide. I found Isaiah 6:1-8 posted on her weekly study guide, so I silently turned to it and began reading it while the class continued on with their discussions.

At first the Seraphim stood out, with its six wings. I looked up what a Seraphim was while the class was now beginning to read the scripture out loud. As they did I was still listening when I too turned back to the scripture to read along. It was then I heard the words, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.”

“The train of his robe,” I thought to myself, then about that time somebody or a voice said out loud, “That would look like sheets hanging down from the sky.” I nearly fell out of my chair. I had my journal with me and turned to the page from last Thursday to see what I drew, and there it was; the picture of the sheets hanging down from the Heavens.

I then feverishly read all of the scripture again, pretty much losing track of where and what the class was discussing until I overheard the teacher ask if anyone had ever had visions. One of my dear friends, Laverne Thornton, looked over at me and then pointing in my direction said,”Tim seems to have them quite often.”

“Well, now that you mention it, I was just finding that today’s lesson revealed to me what I had seen last Thursday,” I said as I opened my journal to the drawing. I then explained my vision to the class, and explained to them at the time I had no idea what it meant; not until today. We passed the drawing around for everyone to see. I told them it was giving me chill bumps just thinking about it, because it was still sinking in.

Laverne replied with his usual humorous quip, “I still have that referral to a psychiatrist that I need to get to you.’

We continued following the scripture, but I jumped ahead to the end and saw the final words, “Here I am, Send Me.” I realize that somehow, I had been in God’s throne room, while the train of his robe blew about me. Was I there to receive my orders? Unbeknownst to me the Word of God reached out to me once more when,

“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?”

Then it struck me again, “Here I am, Send Me.”

What else can I say?

Now to find those Seraphim.

—————————————————————————————————————–

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”- Isaiah 6:1-8

 

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