Before I post the dream, lemme tell ya my good news...
We found a house for the Respite Center!!! It's a 3-story house with many rooms on all floors. I've never lived anywhere this beautiful in my life! I'll be moving in a few weeks, yes during the holidays. If you don't hear from me for a while, that may be the reason. But I'll be back... eventually. Who knows, I may be able to sneak in a post or two along the way.
Okay, the dream. At the time, I was homeless, not on the streets, but running out of places to stay. I had been living with friends, and I could not find an apartment anywhere in town (Springdale, Ark). I had hopes for one apartment but it fell through. It was my last lead, and I had to leave the place where I was living. Long story. Shortly after I had this dream, my sister Jody called and invited me to move in with her in Atlanta. What a goddsend! I moved there immediately, and I've been in the Atlanta area ever since.
BTW, if you want to read my book, it's called Burdens in the Thought Life. I wrote it in 1995. It's on an old old website with broken links, but the book and the stories are intact. Of course a lot has happened since the book's ending, and maybe one day I will write a sequel. I doubt it, though. Rayne's World is my sequel.
This dream is significant to me because I remember it vividly to this day. It was more than a dream.
July 18, 1992
I had a dream last night that was so real - I believe it was a vision. Jesus Christ and I were walking along a chain-link fence. He was entirely human, like me, and was wearing his Nazarene clothes and sandals. He walked a few steps ahead, occasionally warning me of a ditch or stone in our path. We were like old friends, feeling peaceful in each other's company and comfortable with long stretches of silence.
Suddenly our journey became divine as Jesus transformed himself into a celestial spirit enveloped in pure, white light. He ascended several feet in the air and held out his hand. I reached toward him, tentatively, afraid of trusting him entirely. He grasped my hand and it literally fused into his. Our two hands became one.
As he lifted me toward the clouds, we began to soar with remarkable speed over a large, metropolitan city. The city lights against the dark sky seemed to dance with the harmony of our passage. My eyesight was perfect, and I was able to ingest every building and car and streetlight, no matter how quickly we zipped by. At times I was dancing with angels, spinning around stars, and still able to capture every sight below and behind me.
We landed in a large room full of people dressed in polyester pantsuits. They were sitting on ripped couches and gazing at oversized pictures of autumn scenery. Overflowing ashtrays lingered on chafed tables, and Styrofoam cups teetered near empty corners. I recognized the scene well. We had landed in an institution for the mentally ill.
The patients couldn't see us - they couldn't even see one another - but I could see right through their blank expressions and into their buried souls — all longing to shed a tear over the loss of their earthly purposes. In each latent tear I saw a pool of untapped potential waiting to be released from the grips of a violent whirlpool. It was tugging them down farther and farther with every psychiatric encounter. I remembered those encounters.
Underneath it all, these people knew who they were but they had forgotten how to believe in themselves. I longed to convince them that they still mattered and that any belief at all would begin to feed their inner cravings for life again.
Jesus understood my thoughts and said, "This is what I want you to do."