To sleep, perchance to dream...Hamlet
In one of those random conversations with my older daughter I learnt not everyone dreams in vivid full screen technicolour. I can see there might be advantages to dreaming in B&W ~ but I don't. I spent most of my adolescence in war zones fleeing across exposed landscapes to flimsy barns whose walls disintegrated around me under machine gun fire. My sleep was hardly restful. I would wake exhausted having spent my whole night running from the enemy while my adrenaline went through the roof.
I am a connoisseur of bad dreams, from the ball of string that went on forever [courtesy of this book] to the terrifying drift past stars & planets & galaxy after galaxy into the grey nether land of eternity! More mornings than I care to number I've woken with the grim taste of dust & ashes in my mouth & my blood thrumming with anxiety ~ or worse the voices in my head jabbering like mad. For years I put it down to bad t.v choices just before bed, an overactive imagination, an out of control sub~conscious but just recently I have noticed something ~ & it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything I do ~ or don't do.
When God starts nudging me the dreaming suddenly gets very bad. I become restless in my sleep. I know because Dearest starts complaining. He is used to me sleeping like a log. Once I start tossing & turning & moaning his chances of a restful night dissolve rapidly. I wake exhausted as if carrying a heavy burden & when I go into prayer tears pour forth like the proverbial deluge. I start avoiding prayer. Weeping for I know not what hardly makes me feel sane.
And then it starts: the verse here, a quote there, the story I heard once from the friend of a friend ~ a slow slow drift of ideas that coalesces into a log jam in my mind & beaver~like forms a dam holding back a gush of words.
Now I'm not normally shy about telling the Lord what I think & it occurred to me that I could perfectly well write without all the angst ~ & do a better job with my head screwed on right way round & the emotional trauma on hold. That, however, does not seem to be the way it works. For His own purposes the Lord wants me to experience something of His burden & His heart in the message He conveys & so we do this slow dance wherein I try & squirm away from the burden, the great depths of sorrow as our Lord grieves for the world He created & the people He loved enough to die for, & the sense of urgency that the time does indeed grow short, the harvest is ripening in the fields yet the workers dally in their pleasure gardens playing with toys.
I don't like this place which leaves me exposed, emotionally raw & very vulnerable. My instinct is to curl up, curl away, throw up my defences & protect the soft, delicate tissues of my inner being ~ but this is not allowed either. And so, dear friends, over the coming days & weeks while I grasp its tail & ride the tiger, if you can spare a prayer or two my way I would be most grateful. Muchos gratias.