I had the strangest dream in the wee hours of the Saturday night before Advent commenced. It was peculiar in several ways. First, nothing wakes me up at night, especially dreams. Second, I hardly ever dream except for wacky little vignettes that usually start right before I wake up. Third, if I do dream, I rarely remember the plots at first light.
But on that curious Saturday night, I awakened at 3 a.m. with a start. Neither scared nor upset, I sat up in the dark...surprised, yet serene. The most peaceful feeling had overcome me in my sleep, something I have never experienced in my dreaming life.
I think I was talking to God in my dream. Yet, it wasn't a conversation. I was listening, not communicating with anyone. The narrative, the voice, seemed like it was originating in me, but then again, not. The dream offered no setting, no tangible clues as to where I might be. It was as if I were in a deep, friendly...void. I was not afraid.
Because I have no other words to describe a conversation that was neither with myself nor with others, I would have to describe the experience as an epiphany unfolding gently, as a lotus flower slowly opens when the light coaxes it to accomplish what is in its very nature to do.
This is what my dream revealed to me: We humans are always looking for miracles. They elude us because we don't know what they really are.
I want to witness seas parting, people surviving in the bellies of whales, oil lasting an astounding eight nights instead of just the one...a human walking on water or turning it into the finest wine. I want "signs". My Epiphany, however, seemed unconcerned about such things or whether they actually, factually happened or will happen again.
It wanted me to understand that the greatest miracle in this worldly life is not in overcoming our physical reality...it is in not fearing it.
The revelation was quite clear in its intent--If I want to witness the sacred on this earth, I can not let fear transform me. Instead of waiting for God to give me a sign, I have to create the miracle myself. When faced with "my people" being hurt or destroyed, I have to boldly plant my staff in the ground and transform my fear into something more powerful than the natural constraints of this world. I have to let go of everything that scares me and simply surrender to trust. The miracle, after all, is not in the survival but in the living through the fear, with dignity.
I have been turning this revelation over and over in my mind for a few weeks, now. Although I tend to be a trusting person, an independent and modern woman in charge of her own destiny, I am coming to the realization that fear has been flourishing in the dark corners of my mind for too long. It has kept me from being who I have wanted to be and who I think I am, presently. It has been barring me from being the person I think I can become.
Was this dream just a little nighttime pondering of the subconscious or was it a message from God? Or was it both? I suppose it doesn't really matter if I ever know the truth. All I know is that, right now, during this Advent season, I feel compelled to look in all those dark places where I've let fear grow unnoticed and unchecked.
I'm truly afraid of what I might find. I'm even more scared of what I might have to do once I find it.