Nightmare in the trunk

Had this awful dream last night. Had to get up and write it down before I forgot. There’s probably some significance to it, but it’s beyond me to figure it out. At least, not at 5am with my eyes still half closed from sleep, Anyway, I kept waking up from it and looking at the clock. And every time I would go back to sleep after a few minutes, and there would be the same dream again. I was driving around with a body in the trunk of my car. I knew only a couple things about it in the dream. One was that I didn’t kill it. The other was that I had to get rid of it–it was my responsibility. I didn’t know what condition it was in, or how it had gotten that way. Or who had killed it, for that matter. But it was in my car, and it had to go.

I kept finding places where I thought I could dump it, get rid of it, but I was never able to–not sure why. I would be about to, and then something would happen, and I’d have to keep driving. It freaked me the heck out–still freaking me out. I used to have this super morbid streak when I was a teen, and the funny thing about that is that lately I’ve sort of felt that way again. Not sure if this has anything to do with that.

Possible solutions. Prayer, of course. Ask God why I’d dream something like that. We talked about dreams a little in HP training last night, too. How God can use them, Interesting. Maybe there’s some kind of lie hidden within that dream. Don’t know.

Or maybe the body in the trunk is a metaphor for something I’m supposed to unburden myself of–something I need to remove from my life. I don’t know what that would be. A secret? I don’t think I have any. Or at least, I don’t remember if I do. What lie could be attached to a body in the trunk? Or something in the trunk.

Maybe it wasn’t actually a body, and maybe the lie (if there is one) is that there’s no place I can get rid of it. I need to think about it. And pray.

Of course, it could have just been a dream, too.

70 times 7

A really good friend of mine is going through some difficulty right now with a few family members of the man she’s going to marry–one in particular. Her fiance has gone through his share of difficulty, and with God’s help, has emerged on the other side of it. He is a changed person, and that is not only due to Jesus, but also to his relationship with my friend. I believe that God, through their relationship, has grown both of them tremendously.

But this person(s) in my friend’s fiance’s family has chosen not to see that, but rather to condemn. This person was mean, and condescending, and holier-than-thou in a very Pharasiac (or Pharisitic–I don’t know) sort of way. I wonder, if Jesus were to materialize in the deep south, while this nice person was sipping a sweet tea on their porch, would they condemn him for eating with tax collectors and sinners?

Just look at what God has done in both of their lives. LOOK AT IT!! Look at Grace. Grace does not condemn. It saves, it blesses, it heals. And I believe that while scripture can be twisted to support any point of view, that is not why God gave it to us. It’s there to edify us, to teach us, and like Grace, to bless us. I’m sure if I tried hard enough, I could find a few verses to justify sticking grapes up my nose during worship on a Sunday morning. BUT THAT DOESN”T MEAN I SHOULD, or that it’s how God meant those verses to be interpreted.

Wait, did I just say interpreted? I did.

The reaction of this person reminds me of the fundamentalist movement of the 1980’s, which was almost exclusively condemnatory. And what it did was turn many, many people away from God, myself included. I think if you want people to find God, or turn to him in any sort of real way, you have to show them his love. That’s what saves us. Not anger, not hate, not condemnation for someone a person may not even really know, or a situation they aren’t even a part of.

Jesus did not come to condemn people, but to save them. Love them. Father them.

My first response to my friend’s situation was anger, lots and lots of anger. It felt justified. Feels justified, and maybe, probably is. That feeling of anger was probably reflected in my first couple of paragraphs.

But when I think about it, my condemning this unknown family member is much the same as what they did. I know this person is speaking out of their own brokenness. But that does not make it any easier for my friend. I spoke to her briefly and she said something that’s very true.

The hurt hurt, or words to that effect. Because this person was hurt themself in some way, their instinct (and pain) causes them to lash out. They may not even realize they’re doing it. But that doesn’t make it right.

Man, forgiveness is tough. It really is. It sounds like the person who lashed out and hurt my friend (I imagine her fiance as well), has a heart lacking forgiveness. This person needs to find it, and soon. That’s the key, of course.

I heard Miles McPherson say something in a sermon not long ago that just occurred to me. He said it in regard to dealing with people that he did not necessarily agree with, or have some sort of problem with, or even dislike. What he did in dealing with them was simply to remind himself that no matter how he saw the person, that person was someone Christ died for.

So when I think about this person, I need to remind myself of that very thing. Yeah, I’m angry on my friend’s behalf, and it upsets me that this person passes out judgement like a prize. In God’s name, no less. So what I’m going to try and do (no promises), is to forgive. And pray. Pray God shines his light into her heart, and heals it. Helps her to see the truth of things–His truth, not hers.

Forgiveness, man. That’s a bitch. I guess I needed to process a little. I’m going to go ahead and post this without editing out anything. It was what I thought, and think. I guess take it for what it is.

More to pray about, anyway.

Once

I love this movie.  It’s a musical, pretty much, but without dance numbers and the like.  It’s actually more about making music, and that’s fascinating to me.  It’s romantic, but it isn’t a traditional romance–it’s more about the friendship of the two leads, really.  RENT IT! Now!!

and the songs are pretty good, too.  That first one won an Oscar….

Top 10

OK, I’ll get back to the serious stuff later.  The following is, to the best of my recollection, my top 10 albums/CD’s from my high school years:

10.  Screaming for Vengeance– Judas Priest

9.  Reign in Blood– Slayer

8.  Marching Out– Yngwie Malmsteen

7.  Kill ’em All– Metallica

6.  Ride the Lightning–Metallica

5. Number of the Beast– Iron Maiden

4. The River– Bruce Springsteen

3. Born in the USA– Bruce Springsteen

2. Piece of Mind–Iron Maiden

1. Pyromania–Def Leppard

I think.  Although Maiden and Def Leppard were pretty close to even.  And I also probably missed a few…it’s been a while.  Bet most of you never even heard of some of those….

I just don’t know…

There’s been a ton of information (and opinions) flying around TV and the internet about the new ruling on gay marriage and its legality in California.  It looks like the courts will no longer prevent gay marriages from taking place, and I would imagine gay couples are going to start lining up pretty soon.  I read something yesterday that George Takei (Sulu from the original Star Trek) was going to be getting hitched to him partner of more than 20 years.

Anyway, my point is that I find myself unable to get myself worked up about this in either direction.  Some people say that it either threatens or demeans the sanctity of marriage, which is supposed to be between a man and a woman (this is something that’s stated biblically, and I believe it myself, as I accept the Bible as God-breathed and vital).  The part about that I don’t believe is that it threatens the sanctity of marriage.  At least, I don’t think it threatens it any more than a lot of “straight” people do.

By that I mean the kind of ridiculous marriages you see a lot in the media between Hollywood types.  You know what I mean.  They marry on a whim, and then divorce or annul soon after.  Think about it.  It’s kind of disgusting.  Most of the gay people I know have long term partners, and take even the possibility of marriage extremely seriously.  And the other thing is that what does get my ire up is the supposed “Christians” that spew comments like “God hates fags.”

Idiots.  God hates sin, not sinners.

That comes closest to how I feel, I think.  I don’t feel threatened by the possibility (or actuality) of gays getting married.  I can’t say that I support it, but I can’t find it in me to condemn it, either.  It’s not my place to condemn anyone.  That’s up to God. 

What I can do, what I should do, I think, is just love the gay people I come into contact with to the best of my ability.  I’d imagine a lot of the straight people (especially straight Christians) that gays and lesbians come into contact with react with, at best, trepidation, and at worst…God only knows.  Maybe that’s why the gay man in my office has not been more open about it.  Perhaps he thinks I’d give him the “turn or burn” speech (I wouldn’t).

What I plan to do is just treat him like I would everyone else.  Which, by the way, is how I’d treat any gay person I came into contact with.  What’s the point of spewing hate language at people?  Yes, I believe they’re sinning, but so do I, every day.  Just not in the same way.  But after all, isn’t all sin…sin?  Who am I to distinguish one sin from another?

anyway, much to think about, and much to pray about.  While I’m thinking about that, suppose that all the energy expended by purportedly “Christian” people in hating, picketing, screaming at, and otherwise ridiculing gays and lesbians was instead spent on praying for them.  I wonder what would happen then?

Church visit

I visited a church yesterday.  I’d been there once before to hear a guest speaker (Sy Rogers), but hadn’t heard the regular pastor speak.  I did listen to a couple sermons online to get a sense of the guy, but it’s hard to tell about someone from just an audio recording.  Anyway, the short version is that it was a pretty good sermon.  Pastor Jurgen discussed the breaking of vows, which was interesting, considering the Eldredge passage I wrote about the other day.  The only thing about that place, though (Christian City Church), is that it’s a little more charismatic than I’m used to.  He did an altar call at the end, and asked people to come up if they wanted prayer, or needed to break some vows they’d made.  I saw some of the ushers kind of standing behind people, and after a moment, I realized why.  Three or four of them hit the deck after he laid hands on them.  Hadn’t seen that before.

Still, it was an interesting sermon.  And the main thing I wanted to say about it was this.  The pastor said something that really stuck in my mind.

“Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die.”  Or words to that effect.

How true is that?  Lord knows I’ve spent enough time trying to forgive people.  I need to think about that some more. 

Like taking poison, and hoping the other person dies…..

 

hmmm