Tag Archives: Dream

A Crazy Dream of Love Triumphant

I am thankful for the day off today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I am also thankful for his dream that love would triumph over hatred and evil. That is my dream, too. And like King, I believe God when He promises that one day this dream will be reality.

In honor of this day and this dream, I decided to post a great song by MercyMe called Crazy Enough. Call me crazy, but I believe in the dream of love triumphant.

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Dreaming of Forgiveness

As I write this, I’m sitting in the Portland, Oregon airport waiting to board my flight to Boston with a layover in Houston. It’s 10:47 p.m. and I’ll soon (I hope) be on the red eye, trying to get some sleep. I doubt it will be the kind of deep sleep that leads to dreaming.

For the past couple of days a blog post idea has been flitting around in my head that has to do with dreaming. Or more accurately, it has to do with a specific dream. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to write that post.

This is a true story of a dream I had 13 years ago, but it is as vivid in my memory today as it was the moment I awoke from it. But before I get to the dream, a little background (some of which those who have read much of my blog will already know, some of which I’ve only shared one-on-one with people I know).

I had been struggling with major clinical depression for almost 7 years. There had been some good days, weeks, maybe even a month here and there, during that 7 years. But never any lasting relief. Even before that I had dealt with low grade depression for a long as I could remember. Through it all I blamed one person for all my misery. I’d been blaming him for almost 20 years. I was sure what he had done was the reason for my depression and that there was nothing I could do about it. I had become convinced that I would always be miserable. My regular mantra was that he had ruined my life.

So you might be wondering what he did that was so terrible. I’ve thought a lot about whether I would include that piece of information here. I’ve shared it with friends, but I’ve decided not to do so in my blog. I believe that this post will have a greater impact if I don’t because the principles I learned through this story aren’t dependent on the wrong that was done to me. Just as we don’t know what the thorn was in Paul’s side that he asked the Lord to remove (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), so that his story has a universal message that Jesus’ grace is sufficient for any suffering, I think my story will have more universal appeal if the reader can fill in the blanks with whatever wrong has been done to them.

You might also be wondering if my life really was miserable during this time so as to warrant being depressed. I assure you it was not. I was (and still am) married to a wonderful man who loves me and would do anything for me. We lived in a nice house. I had graduated from law school cum laude and had a pretty good job. My sweet, loveable son was also born during this time. I actually had, as George Bailey would say, “a wonderful life.”

Still, I was in utter despair and medication was not helping. I mentioned in My Tuesday Three last week about my friend June who invited me to my first Bible study, which happened towards the end of my 7 years of major depression. It was while I was attending this Bible study on a weekly basis that I had the dream.

Okay, now to the dream. It started out with me standing at the checkout counter at the grocery story. I paid for my groceries and turned to leave. There he was, on his knees, asking me to forgive him. But I walked away. Suddenly I was at the post office mailing some letters. I finished my business with the postal clerk and turned to leave. There he was again, on his knees, asking me to forgive him. But I walked away. This scenario was repeated at the bank, the library, and several other of the regular places one goes in life.

He was everywhere in my life in this dream, but not trying to ruin it. He was always asking for forgiveness. I awoke from the dream and knew immediately what I needed to do. God had been trying to tell me this very thing in various ways for quite some time, but I hadn’t listened. I couldn’t ignore this clear message of forgiveness.

So that is what I did. It wasn’t easy, and I had to pray for God to help me, but I forgave him. Suddenly a flood of names came to my mind. People who had “trespassed against me” in some way or another over the years; people I was holding a grudge against. All the bitterness I had been holding in my heart came pouring out and I began to cry. I asked God for forgiveness for my failure to forgive for so long.

The effect on my depression was not immediate, but it didn’t take very long compared to how long I had been struggling. Within just a few months I was off antidepressants and have not had to take them since. There are still days, sometimes weeks, when the darkness returns (though not as deeply as it had consumed me for those 7 years). For me, I can usually trace the lurking threat of depression to someone I’m angry with, someone I need to forgive. I’m reminded of the lesson of dreaming of forgiveness.

Note: I am not suggesting that unforgiveness or other unrepentant sin is the root of all depression. This is just my story, and I believe I’m not alone in the root of my struggle. I write this for those who, like me, have been hurt and have hung onto the bitterness that such wrongs can cause.

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Music Monday Extra – Love Rule Today

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I thought this video would be a nice Music Monday Extra. Dr. King’s dream would be a reality if all the world would follow the advice of this song by Revive and let Love Rule Today.

I tried to insert the video here, but apparently this is one you have to view at YouTube for copyright reasons. Follow the linked song title to watch it.

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I Share the Dream of Freedom

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, the day we commemorate a great man who stood up for freedom and equality in our nation. He was a civil rights activist and Baptist preacher who is remembered often for his “I have a dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington. At one point during this speech, King said:

“Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

We enjoy a lot of freedom in this country, and it is easy to think that we have achieved the dream King so passionately spoke of. But I know I must not become complacent and think that just because I am free the dream has been achieved for all. If I open my eyes I see that there are many for whom the dream is still but a hope for the future and not a reality of today.

There is a great song by Solomon Burke called “None of Us Are Free” that reminds me that as long as there are others in this country and in the world who are not free from prejudice and hatred, then I am not truly free.

And there are people still in darkness,
and they just can’t see the light.
If you don’t say it’s wrong then that says it right.
We got try to feel for each other, let our brother’s know that we care.
Got to get the message, send it out loud and clear.

If you just look around you,
you’re gonna see what I say.
Cause the world is getting smaller each passing day.
Now it’s time to start making changes,
and it’s time for us all to realize,
that the truth is shining real bright right before our eyes.

We are all united as members of the human race, and we must continue to strive for the freedom of all and not be content with our own individual freedom. Even where laws protect the civil liberties of people based on their race or religion, there is not true freedom if people harbor prejudice and hatred towards others in their hearts. Although all of God’s children are afforded freedom by law in the United States, there is still racial and religious prejudice that prevents Dr. King’s dream from becoming a reality. In the rest of the world, things are even worse.

Throughout the world people are persecuted for not only their race but for their faith as well. Just last night I received a message from a friend asking me to pray for a pastor and his congregation in Tunisia who are in danger because of the government collapse as they may lose the little freedom to worship that they have now. In China, house churches are raided and Christians thrown in jail. In Pakistan, converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death. In many nations throughout the world Christianity is restricted or Christians are persecuted. In these countries, there is no freedom and the dream is but a hope for the future.

Are you free? Do you enjoy the freedom from being discriminated against because of your color or race? Do you enjoy the freedom to believe as you choose and to worship God as you desire? Do you think you are free? Has the dream been achieved and you can sit back and simply enjoy your freedom? Well, think again. As Solomon Burke, with back-up from the Blind Boys of Alabama, reminds us, “None of Us Are Free.”

But I share Martin Luther King Jr’s dream that one day we will all be free. If we each continue to desire and strive for freedom of our fellow man, then someday the dream will be more than just a hope for the future.

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