Sometimes there is a simple path to a profound truth.
In my last post, Sorrow and Solitude , I shared my need to take time away because of the sadness that had come to people I love. And hence to me. I needed time to feel the sorrow–to reflect on things–and let God speak to me.
During this time I read a book by the wonderful writer, Frederich Buechner, called The Remarkable Ordinary. In it he tells of the healing that comes when we pause the rush of life long enough to remember–and reflect–on our lives. So that we begin to see our “story,” and perhaps find that our “ordinary lives’ may actually be weaving an extraordinary tale.
Then, says Buechner, one can begin to see a “stream” of Grace, that flows through our life–almost hidden, but really there–just as real as the rest of our life. It will be that we can hear it, feel it, and see it–if only we take time to listen (which is the hard part). But if we do–reflect, remember and listen–the story can lead us to places where we catch a glimpse of God–reaching out, as it were, to intercept us. A little push in some direction, or a “clue’ that He is there–watching–and working out a redemptive story for all the sorrow that crushes in on us–and everyone else–in this broken world.
For your story is also my story, Buechner reminds us, quoting Maya Angelou. Though the details, of course,will differ. They are the same because, somehow, we all must work our way through life’s heavy loads–but we need not do it alone, nor without moments of joy that help heal the sorrow.
And that is where “The Room called Remember” comes in.
Beuchner tells how this came to him in a dream–where he found himself searching and longing for a certain room in a large hotel. He knew only one thing about this room, only that he always felt perfectly at peace there. But after leaving it, he could not find his way back. So, in the dream he inquires at the desk for the room number, but the clerk tells him the room does not have a number– only a name. But that he can go back there anytime he wants–he only needs to: “Remember.” And so, it is “The Room Called Remember.”
This so touched me I began to cry. Because, even though I did not have traumatic childhood memories to work through (as Buechner did), there is so much in life I NEED to remember–to go back and truly feel and experience. Because life has been so busy–well, since forever–as it has for almost everyone. And yes, even for those of us with “ordinary childhoods” there are hurts left in closets.
It’s as if we live life without feeling it most of the time. Always moving on because of the pure busyness of it all. As if joy and revelry and delight in the sunshine of the day is only for children. But remembering and feeling, smiling and laughing have their place–and it’s a healing one.
Truly, we must remember–and feel again–or die inside.
So because of the sorrow I took this time. And then–“out of the blue” I had this dream (I am one of those rare folk who sleep like a rock and seldom dream at all, much less have “meaningful” dreams, so this is a first…). But, in this dream my deceased father appears. Out of nowhere he is there; we are just standing, facing each other at the end of a road. In the dream I know he is not supposed to be there, so I just stare at him and think…
“Dad, you’re dead–you can’t be here!!”
He looks over at me and smiles. Then, very characteristically, with his slow deliberate walk, comes over and puts his arm around my shoulders and gives me a good hard squeeze. He looks me in the eyes and says, “I just came to give you a hug.” He smiles his mischievous smile again and then he is gone, just like that.
The dream woke me up with a start.
“Wow. Dad came to give me a hug!” That was all I thought, but it was like shot of pure adrenaline.
No plot, no nothing else. So maybe it was more like a vision than a dream? I wouldn’t know. But regardless, I knew that it MEANT something. I knew that as clear as day–which was very odd.
Buechner writes about how a dream can be at the same time, a “word from you and a word to you,” and I think that was true about this dream. It was a revelation of sorts–a message I needed to hear.
Later on that day as I thought about that dream, I asked God to help me know what the dream was to show me. It was a simple reminder of the Father love of God–something to REMEMBER: We don’t just serve God, we are to enjoy His love. That was it–the delight of a Father who just wanted to hug his daughter–pure love–nothing to prove.
God delights in me simply because I am His… What a thought to think on.
So take time to reflect on the ordinary things in your life–and you might catch a glimpse of that quiet, grace of God on a simple path called Remember.