Jesus... He came and visited me last night in a dream. It's the first time I've ever had a dream with Jesus in it. And I believe... no, I know beyond doubt... that this "dream" was purposed by him. What a sweet dream is was, too. I call it my modern day version of the disciples in the storm at sea, except none of the disciples were there and we weren't at sea. [hmmm...] BUT, there was a storm and Jesus came in the midst of it! ;-)
I know when I awoke in the middle of the night that I should have pulled myself out of bed to write this dream down, but I had taken Benadryl to sleep soundly and I just couldn't quite muster up the energy to do anything but go back to sleep. I drowsily asked God to help me remember the dream in the morning and, almost immediately, I was back in dreamland.
My dream took place in a warehouse, but one converted into a home within one room. It was a wide open space with lots of windows but very sparsely furnished. A storm was raging outside, and I have to assume that we had decided to take shelter for our safety. I know that six people were a part of the group, but I only clearly remember four: Me, Anthony, Jason and Coli. I believe the other 2 were Teighlor and Alec, but my memory fails me there.
The storm had us all a bit frightened. Severe rain and wind were slamming against the warehouse walls and loudly rattling every window to what sounded like their breaking points. We were individually scattered throughout the warehouse, silently listening to the frenzied storm around us; none of us voicing the fear that we all felt but were afraid to confess.
In that moment, the lone door to the warehouse opened and in walked Jesus... no triumphal entry, no announcement from a messenger angel... just Jesus. What's ironic is that no one in the room reacted as if "JESUS" had just walked through the door. No gasps of shock and awe, no whispers questioning whether or not it was who we thought it was, no cell phone cameras popped open so that we could prove to the world via Twitpic that Jesus had walked into our warehouse. It was as if Jesus popping by to visit was a regular occurrence. that he was part of the family you could depend on to show up for Sunday dinner every Sunday.
He came in with the most humble air of confidence - a presence that commanded attention but didn't wreak of arrogance or a false sense of superiority. He just was Jesus and that was enough.
I was sitting on the only bed in the warehouse and watched Jesus visit each person in the room. I wasn't privy to the conversation taking place, but I watched the exchange of body language very intently. Each pairing told a different story communicated through eye contact, body position and touch.
Jesus approached Anthony first and sat next to him on the love seat. With Anthony, Jesus was very touchy-feely. I'm sure because He, of all people, would know that He created in Anthony the very essence of "we could so be touching right now". Their conversation looked deep and serious. I got the impression that Anthony was pouring out his concerns to Jesus. All the while, Jesus kept patting Anthony on his knee or rubbing his shoulder, exuding compassion for what he was listening to [and filling his love tank, too], but at the same time manifesting this sense that everything was going to be alright. He spoke very little but when he did, I could sense that his words held tremendous authority and wisdom, although they were delivered with the kindest, most compassionate expression. When Jesus was done, He gave Anthony a big hug and then touched his face with a tenderness that was palpable. It was the sweetest touch I've ever witnessed.
Jason was sitting in one of two over-stuffed, comfy chairs. Jesus pulled the other one around so that when He sat down his knees would be touching Jason's and they would be facing each other. Even though Jason is a tall guy, Jesus seemed taller... not in an intimidating way but with a stature that would make even the biggest of men feel safe standing next to him. As he sat down, Jesus leaned forward and began his conversation with Jason. The body language between these two men was very different than that displayed during Jesus' conversation with Anthony. Instead of the almost constant language of touch that existed between Jesus and Anthony, Jesus' touch with Jason appeared much more purposed - as if he was driving a point home every time he reached out to him. There was no condemnation in this touch, no "listen to me or else"... rather it almost appeared as if Jesus was trying to convince Jason of one thing or another and his touch was the period at the end of each sentence. Again, because I was not allowed to hear the words being spoken, I was left to surmise the conversation taking place through the contact of Jesus and the one with whom He was speaking. When Jesus was done, He rested both of his hands on Jason's knees and just held his gaze for what seemed like an eternity. Had it been anyone else, I believe Jason would have told a joke to break the silence, but instead he said not a word... he just let the communication happen.
And then Jesus crossed the room to meet Coli. She had been standing in a corner, watching all of this unfold, like me. When He reached her, he walked straight into the corner to stand next to her. He was "this close" to her, not leaving any room for personal space. Their faces were only inches from each other, a proximity that would have made even the closest of couples a bit unnerved, but with Jesus standing there it only seemed natural. He immediately reached out and took both of Coli's hands in his and their conversation began. As with the other two, this exchange had nothing in common with Jesus' prior conversations. Theirs was animated, full of smiles and laughter... kind of like two best friends sharing the events of their days that had taken place since their last time together, except even the best of friends don't share such extreme personal space as naturally as Jesus and Coli did. Everything about their time together would make any bystander secretly wish for "a relationship like that". When Jesus was done, He wrapped his arms around her and they hugged. There was no need for tears or a long good-bye because their contact simply communicated their love for each other and the fact that they would be seeing each other very soon.
Whether Jesus stopped and talked to the other two in my dream, I do not remember. What I do know is that when he approached me I was sitting against two pillows propped up against the wall, like they would against a headboard. Jesus took the two pillows on the other side of the bed, pulled them down to lay flat on the mattress and then laid down on his side facing me. He patted the empty space next to him and asked me to lay down, too. Without hesitation, I laid down on my side, facing him, and laid my head on his arm. As with Coli, there was only "this much" space between our faces. Had it been anyone else, I know I would have been checking my breath hoping that my Listerine was keeping me fresh, or I would have been backing up so that I could breathe "my own air and not that borrowed from the person next to me". [That's kind of a pet-peeve of mine] But, this position seemed so natural, so cozy, that the thought of breath mints never crossed my mind.
For a moment we just laid together and then Jesus asked me, "What one question do you really want to ask me?" I was caught off guard and didn't know how to respond. The only thing I could think to say was, "Well, before you came in I had so many questions about my life and what's going on, but now that I'm next to you I can't think of one." He just smiled and replied with, "Isn't that nice?" His very presence had calmed my fears and quieted all the concerns of life that were constantly on replay in my head. We took a few moments to bask in that peace. Well, He let me bask in His peace and he... I can only say that I got the distinct impression that He was simply enjoying His time with me; the same way I would enjoy my child snuggling next to me.
Jesus broke the silence by asking me another question, "What one thing do you think you struggle with the most?" Again, he caught me off guard. I ran through a list of 'struggles' in my brain, searching for the one that could top the list. Was it faith? Was it doubt? Was it impatience or fear, or complacency, stubbornness or self-reliance? How would I answer his question? My quandary was obvious and I think He decided to let me off the hook. I mean, he already knew the answer, didn't he? He just smiled in a way that words cannot explain and with a tone that cannot be defined he said to me, "I love you so much." And followed that up with, "That is the answer to my question." Huh?
To put an end to the wheels spinning in my head, he explained, "Beyond all the answers that you think should have topped your list, the only one that matters is the struggle you go through in your heart questioning how it's possible for me to love you when you've thought, said or done something that is completely unlovable. I don't want you to struggle with this any longer. I love you beyond everything." And when Jesus was done, He took my face in his hands and kissed my forehead like I would kiss my child good night and got up from the bed.
Without fanfare, He walked straight to the door, turned to us one last time and said, "Good-bye. I'll see you all later." And with that, he shut the door behind him and left as a friend would leave.