It’s like all of a sudden, dreams are at the forefront of my experience. I had a crazy vivid dream just a few nights ago where the only thing I remember was someone saying “Yes” and then all the dreams in these chapters in Genesis. Along with that, our church communications director shared that she had a dream that I converted her office into a DVD store (like a Blockbuster). Then one of the podcasts I listen to released an episode on “Why We Dream.” Finally, my dear friend Lisa wrote this morning on her CaringBridge page about vivid dreams she has had the last few days. Is someone telling me something?
I don’t know that anyone fully understands why we dream but I have had many dreams that have been incredibly relevant to situations in which I found myself. One involved walking among candles in the rafters of a former church. Another was me hiking a path and encountering a mountain lion on a oft-hiked trail and choosing to go a new route. And my wife would share of the time I woke her up as I was dreaming about being a secret agent. The first two definitely have some resonance for situations at the time…the third? Not so much. Or maybe it did.
I believe that I was feeling direction from God in those those first two dreams of things I needed to hear and to know. The one of the candles spoke of an inner strength and resolve I didn’t feel I had. The second was a message that the path I had been on was one that would only lead to danger and it was time for a new path. I truly feel God spoke those needed messages through those dreams. As Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “the dream is the truth.”
Does God speak through every dream? Probably not, but maybe more so than we think. I do strongly believe that there are messages from our unconscious that speak through our dreams and that we would be wise to listen and explore what we remember when we wake up.
So maybe it is God that is speaking through our dreams. Maybe it is just our unconscious. Maybe its both. But the people in the story listened. We can as well.