Everyone has a nightmare or two. They vary from one person to another. For one it could be spiders – big, harry, and appearing at will when one least expects it. To make matters worse they even seem to come with the irritating faces of those with the ability to annoy us day to day. For others it is the unending spotlight of judgment. Everyone one turns it is as if the catwalk of life never quite ends. Camera flashes etch our souls, curious eyes take on the form of daggers, and the gossip of the day is wrapped around my legs, dragging me into the slime of uncertainty and fear. With some it is merely being alone – totally, completely, and permanently isolated from everything which defines community. There’s no music. Conversations have disappeared. Contact and relationship are unknown words. The nightmares never have an ending.
Everyone finds themselves, at one time or another, in the midst of a nightmare. No matter what one tries to do, things get worse. No matter how well prepared you think you are, it seems as if one is helpless. Even the protection of family and friends seems to have lost its power, is anyone on my side?
Ironically when the fruits of my efforts play out to their extreme, I often find myself in a night mare. When I have done something driven by self, I find myself confronted by the true truth of compassion, acceptance, and mercy. When I have given an unconditional gift of love, I find myself longing to be the center. I know it is wrong, but I find myself trapped in one of the worst nightmares – my true self caught in the breach. In that moment, in that gap in life, it seems as if “everyone paralyzed in the panic, hysterical and unstrung, doubled up in pain like a woman giving birth to a baby. Horrified—everyone they see is like a face out of a nightmare.” (Isaiah 13.7, 8)
Nightmares can end with the dawn. Everything can be new. God calls us Divinity’s children.
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