A Dream, Homosexuality, and Questions of Wakefulness

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A Dream

It was hot, humid mid-August.  I had a dream. Not a Martin Luther King, Jr, style dream – a vision for the future, a heart hope. Not a Biblical dream. Just the regular kind of dream one has when one has slept well, wakes to see the clock tick a time too early, goes back to sleep and dreams.

I dreamt of a high school friend, who in college years chose a homosexual lifestyle. In the dream, I had called to say I was again living in our high school town, and asked if we could meet.

Within five minutes, my friend was at my door. We talked about this and that, both carefully avoiding the conversation we knew had to happen.

 

Enter: The Angry One

At some point, an angry person was in the room with us, vehemently speaking against homosexuality and against my friend. I stopped the Angry One and asked for respect. Angry One wouldn’t budge, so I asked Angry One to leave the room. He left.

My high school friend – whom I’ll call Friend – looked at me quizzically, nearly a Doctor Who #10 raise of the eyebrow, as if to challenge me: “So, what do YOU have to say?”

I apologized for Angry One’s demeanor and said, “Let’s keep talking.”

 

An Atlas

Friend asked for an atlas. I pulled out an atlas.

As we searched the southern hemisphere, Friend mentioned a name of an Antarctic explorer.  We found an area on the map named after this explorer.

Friend challenged me with finger on the map,See! What do you think about that?”

I didn’t understand the connection Friend wanted me to make. So I said something that I can’t recall in my same-morning now-awakened state.

 

“The Touring Kind”

We talked about our high school town. Friend revealed to me something quite personal that I was asked not to laugh about: “I like to ride tricycles.”

“Tricycles!” I flapped my arms in excitement. (People do silly things in dreams.)

Friend thought I was mocking until I continued, “I love tricycles! Do you ride the Big Wheel type of our childhood, or the touring riding-by-a-meadow-and-love-life kind?”

“The touring kind.”

 

“I Want to Die”

Friend’s eyes became sad.

Friend became sad.

Friend became very sad.

Sad and small.

As Friend poured sadness into my soul, I felt deepening depths of pain and rejection.

I carried Friend into a hardware store.  (It was one of those dream things that seem impossible awake, but a smooth transition asleep.)

Friend continued to pour sadness into my soul.

“I want to die,” Friend whispered.

 

A Whisper Within a Whisper

“No, don’t die,” I whispered back, walking past an ambulance in the parking lot, back into the hardware store.  “Don’t die. I love you.”

My love of friendship, but deeper still, the love of the Creator of my Friend in the words.

“I love you, too,” childlike, the voice a whisper within a whisper.

An EMT passed us, wearing a dark gray shirt (cotton blend, I believe), and a patch with red letters.

I quickly tapped his chest, and pointed to a piece of paper on which I was writing, “He wants to die.”

 

Friend, are you there?

The EMT, unlike so many untrained, took notice, took heart, took action.

On his walkie, he called for back-up, for help.

My friend was suddenly not small and cradled in my arms, but on the phone with me.  Friend was home alone, sharing fatigue still in whispers.

“I’m going to take some pills now …”

“No … wait,” I pleaded.  “Wait. Don’t die. There is hope. Don’t …”

Silence.

“Friend?  Friend, are you there?”

 

The Window

I could see the window of Friend’s apartment across the park, across the busy street.

I could see glaze on the window, smeared with grime, but I couldn’t see my friend.

Friend was lost behind the glaze, behind the grime.  Friend couldn’t see.

And suddenly, I was awake.

I gasped.

 

Questions of Wakefulness

I have not heard from Friend for over 20 years.

Is Friend alive? Is Friend dead?

Where is Friend now?

Is Friend angry? Is Friend sad?

Is Friend lost?

Is Friend still blind to the message of God – in Christ alone – the window of the soul still grimed over by the fallen world and the hatred of those called to compassion?

Am I angry at Friend?

Am I angry at Friend?

 

Betrayal

I am hurt by Friend. I am hurt by demands made years ago to validate what I cannot.

Friend asked me to betray myself. To betray my beliefs. To betray something higher than the law of man. To betray God. My Savior.

I have been angry at friends of Friend who demand I give up a higher law to change a lower law.

I have been angry at Angry Ones, who leaving hope and salvation at the cross covering their own sin, share bitterness and hatred, driving Friend away from the cross, rather than to it.

I have been angry, yet my heart longs to sin not. How easy to tip that scale.

 

Friend, where are you?

Are you sad? Are you fatigued?

Are you listening for God’s heartbeat? Are you seeking His face?

Are you looking for His mercies?

Are you leaning on His empowering grace?

Are you reading His message, His whole message – not just the parts spewed at you in rage?

Friend, where are you?

Can I still call you friend?

I cannot say sin is right – neither mine nor yours.

If you demand that of me as a condition of our friendship, can I truly call you friend?

 

Light to Resistant Eyes

While wakefulness brought light to my resistant eyes, although the dream was simply a dream, the reality is my friend is real.

I took my friend to my Father.

I lifted my friend to the very throne room of Holy God, accessible only because of the Father’s sacrifice of His Son.

I presented my friend, wrapped in the shroud of prayer, in the shroud of bloodied mercies, and asked Holy God to bring Friend to Himself, to enlighten the eyes of understanding, to have mercy on the soul, to wipe the grime from the window so Friend could see the Light of Day, the Light of Eternity, the Love of God. In Christ. At the cross.

I breathed deeply, wondering if the dream would pass like so many others into daylight hours, blending, disappearing into the busy keystrokes of life.

But the dreamed kept replaying as I got ready for the day.

 

I Cannot Get Away

I cannot get away from the whisper – now whispering, still whispering, “I want to die.”

Don’t die, Friend. Live. Live in Christ. There, at that place on the cross, there is hope. For us all.

 

REALITY CHECK:  I had a dream of imagination and sleep. But God has a plan for reality.

God has a plan for the sin demanding its way: in my friend, in the Angry One, in friends of Friend, in friends of Angry Ones, in me.

Homosexuality – and hatred and contentions and jealousies and outbursts of wrath and selfish ambitions and more – are workings against God and His ways.

All outlets of our inner rebellion. There are no two ways about it.

Forgive us, Father, for we have all sinned. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

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