Only a Dream

I remember waking up that morning, the full breadth of deep emotions evoked by a dream that had just ended, still aflame in my bosom.

In my dream I wore a set of false teeth, much like a pair I once purchased at a novelty store; only I had somehow forgotten that they were not my real teeth.

As my dream unfolded, I noticed that these dentures were slowly beginning to deteriorate, and many of the teeth began to fall off at an alarming speed. Fully convinced that these were my own teeth, I was horrified by the sudden onset of  decay at my relatively young age, and was even more dismayed at the fact that there was nothing in my power that I could do to arrest this tragic turn of events.

Suddenly, I was awakened in my dream to the rather reassuring discovery that these were not my real teeth. Indeed my real teeth lay hidden underneath these false, decrepit dentures, which presently melted away, revealing a brand new set of healthy choppers.

At that moment I was overtaken by a wonderful sense of peace commingled with a profound feeling of gratitude, which gently reduced me to tears. These were not tears of sorrow, but inspired by what in my dream I recognized as an overwhelming sense of God's incomparable mercies. It was then that I opened my eyes, tears still in them, marooned vestiges of the land from which I had been prematurely summoned.  

I was loath to extract any kind of Freudian rendition from what may very well have been merely an unexpectedly tragic digestive finale to an otherwise delectable spaghetti and meatball dinner; I did feel however, that there was a lesson of sorts to be drawn from the dream's uniquely linear narrative; thus I opted for what seemed to me a very distinct spiritual message.

Looking back, I find it odd that I would be moved to tears by a mere dream, especially one that would seem to warrant emotions like fear and anxiety rather than joy. But in my dream, I experienced a certain pathos, extant only in those precious few waking moments, in which I have been unexpectedly besieged by the warmth of God's  inexpressible love; an almost reckless and scandalous love that asks not to be requited; a love not of this world.

As it is, the scriptures speak of a kingdom in which we are to someday live after we shed the old skin of our present existence. I was reminded of what C.S. Lewis once described in The Weight of Glory, as the mysterious yearnings that elicit in us an intuitive spiritual awareness of another reality -- as certain as that of which we are conscious -- and how the faint imprints of that reality we discern only in part, are themselves etched into these yearnings, like "the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited".
More often than not, we conduct our daily affairs, acquiescently beguiled by a placid denial of the fact that these frames we presently inhabit are poorly equipped to bear the strain of eternity. But what appears as the cruel mirage of imperishability points to something which is not altogether a misplaced hope.

Our bodies are but a fleece that will soon decay, in order to unveil our real immortal selves. The corrupted will yield to the incorruptible; the old will make way for the new; that which looks like the end will be swallowed up in the everlasting; then will our real selves be revealed, and embark on the deathless journey for which we yearned in the secret moments, and for which they were always intended. The writer of Revelations seized on this hope in his words "...the old order of things [will] pass away."

For the moment, the teeth we see are not our real teeth, but merely the shell of what lies underneath, waiting to be revealed on that day.

As in my dream, we are steadfastly nudged forward, as signs of decay remind us that we are slowly being weaned from our love affair with this present shelter; but there's also a renewing taking place, and the seemingly dormant essence that lies beneath this threadbare covering will be revealed on that day, which promises to be one of unbounded joy, when God makes all things new.

Indeed on that day, it will all seem but a dream from which we have been gently awakened.
I remember waking up that morning, the full breadth of deep emotions evoked by a dream that had just ended, still aflame in my bosom.

In my dream I wore a set of false teeth, much like a pair I once purchased at a novelty store; only I had somehow forgotten that they were not my real teeth.

As my dream unfolded, I noticed that these dentures were slowly beginning to deteriorate, and many of the teeth began to fall off at an alarming speed. Fully convinced that these were my own teeth, I was horrified by the sudden onset of  decay at my relatively young age, and was even more dismayed at the fact that there was nothing in my power that I could do to arrest this tragic turn of events.

Suddenly, I was awakened in my dream to the rather reassuring discovery that these were not my real teeth. Indeed my real teeth lay hidden underneath these false, decrepit dentures, which presently melted away, revealing a brand new set of healthy choppers.

At that moment I was overtaken by a wonderful sense of peace commingled with a profound feeling of gratitude, which gently reduced me to tears. These were not tears of sorrow, but inspired by what in my dream I recognized as an overwhelming sense of God's incomparable mercies. It was then that I opened my eyes, tears still in them, marooned vestiges of the land from which I had been prematurely summoned.  

I was loath to extract any kind of Freudian rendition from what may very well have been merely an unexpectedly tragic digestive finale to an otherwise delectable spaghetti and meatball dinner; I did feel however, that there was a lesson of sorts to be drawn from the dream's uniquely linear narrative; thus I opted for what seemed to me a very distinct spiritual message.

Looking back, I find it odd that I would be moved to tears by a mere dream, especially one that would seem to warrant emotions like fear and anxiety rather than joy. But in my dream, I experienced a certain pathos, extant only in those precious few waking moments, in which I have been unexpectedly besieged by the warmth of God's  inexpressible love; an almost reckless and scandalous love that asks not to be requited; a love not of this world.

As it is, the scriptures speak of a kingdom in which we are to someday live after we shed the old skin of our present existence. I was reminded of what C.S. Lewis once described in The Weight of Glory, as the mysterious yearnings that elicit in us an intuitive spiritual awareness of another reality -- as certain as that of which we are conscious -- and how the faint imprints of that reality we discern only in part, are themselves etched into these yearnings, like "the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited".
More often than not, we conduct our daily affairs, acquiescently beguiled by a placid denial of the fact that these frames we presently inhabit are poorly equipped to bear the strain of eternity. But what appears as the cruel mirage of imperishability points to something which is not altogether a misplaced hope.

Our bodies are but a fleece that will soon decay, in order to unveil our real immortal selves. The corrupted will yield to the incorruptible; the old will make way for the new; that which looks like the end will be swallowed up in the everlasting; then will our real selves be revealed, and embark on the deathless journey for which we yearned in the secret moments, and for which they were always intended. The writer of Revelations seized on this hope in his words "...the old order of things [will] pass away."

For the moment, the teeth we see are not our real teeth, but merely the shell of what lies underneath, waiting to be revealed on that day.

As in my dream, we are steadfastly nudged forward, as signs of decay remind us that we are slowly being weaned from our love affair with this present shelter; but there's also a renewing taking place, and the seemingly dormant essence that lies beneath this threadbare covering will be revealed on that day, which promises to be one of unbounded joy, when God makes all things new.

Indeed on that day, it will all seem but a dream from which we have been gently awakened.