Friday, March 6, 2009

Waking up Twice

I've taken to writing down my dreams on occasion. Dreams are funny things, and they will forever intrigue me. One senses that dreams are pulled from a place so profound and personal and mystical, yet they leave behind only vague impressions, an inaudible sense of longing, fear, peace, confusion. At least that's how this dream was. It was in the morning after I hit snooze several times and went back to sleep. More than the details of the dream itself, I pondered its lingering sensation.

I was at home, lying on a cot in our backyard. I was waking up slowly as the morning sky’s beauty overwhelmed me, also slowly. There were streaks of pink clouds. I remember a woodpile sitting where ours usually sits, but it was bigger and faced west instead of north. I remember looking towards the house, which was lit up serenely by the rising sun, and through a door I could see my mom doing laundry with a steaming cup of coffee sitting next to her.

Then I was crossing the road, where the little hill used to be when the road was still gravel. I was looking at the sunrise, then I turned around and noticed my dog running towards me from the evergreen trees. She was young and strong and running like she used to. I could see the white streak on her chest, the muscles behind it pumping her legs, which carried her across the ground. I was scared. “Jesse’s dead,” I thought as she came running. "What is going on?"

She didn’t run to anywhere. In my memory, she simply passed by, more a message than a being. And fear gave way in an instant to understanding. I’m not sure exactly what I understood, except that I was at home with my family and my dead dog was young again and sprinting across our yard. These things, combined with the colors cast by the morning sun, gave me a sleepy peacefulness that carried me back into consciousness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Communion Prayer Inspired by the Gospel of John

Jesus, be our bread. We come to You for life, which You offer freely to those who would believe and follow. We have feasted before on hollow things—things that wore out and left us hungry. Forgive us for our unbelief, and help us to love each other.

Risen Lamb, be our drink. We come to You for life, which You gained for the world when raised upon the cross. As Moses lifted the snake and those who looked upon it did not die, so we look to You for salvation. Enable us to trust always in the Father’s saving movement, that we may remain in You and on the last day be raised unto eternal wholeness.

Messiah, be our hope. We come to You for truth. In partaking of these elements, we recognize our need for You. We have received Your invitation in symbol; help us now to look to You hour by hour. Lord, make our fears small in light of Your truth! The bread and cup remind us of Your gracious covenant. Keep the taste of Your promises always on our tongues, and increase our trust.