I started out in a bad place in the dream, although to be fair, it wasn’t ever supposed to be a bad place but instead a sanctuary of rest. In it were people from my life in the past and present. You know, the kind of people who have or presume authority but often lack good character?
It was time to leave a this place (it was like a rental cabin, not someplace anyone is supposed to actually live forever), but a ton of work had to be done first as there were things to clean up and things to sort through in order to find out what was good, what was bad, what belonged to me and what belonged to others – but there was a sense of being pressed for time as it was time to go. I knew that if I left the place uncleaned, it would be someone else’s problem. In the midst of this, one of the biggest challenges was the critical people who have been in my life. These are the types of people who apply pressure and never let up, who misrepresent situations because of ignorance and refuse to be corrected or educated about the things they are talking about as though just the fact that a thought popped into their heads made it true and needful of being spoken. I saw people who had betrayed me, long forgiven but whom I still grieve over. These people, throughout the dream, did absolutely nothing to help but only to hinder. I am cleaning – people who aren’t cleaning give me grief. I find a woman’s purse out on the property and try to return it, someone snatches it away and expresses disapproval – not that they want to keep the purse, but they simply are irritated that I am pausing in my cleanup (that they are not helping with) to see that something is restored to someone else. Someone else is blocking my view of the person who I need to speak to (and who has asked me to speak).
So what did I do? I cleaned anyway, I labored to return the purse anyway, and I stepped forward until the man who was blocking my sight was out of my line of sight.
Those of you who are familiar with my house dreams will see a recurring theme – whenever I am in a new phase of my life, I move into a new house in my dream and that house always needs to be cleaned of other people’s stuff. This was the first time in a long time that some of the stuff was actually mine, stuff that needed to be kept and other stuff that could be tossed. What I couldn’t do was just leave it behind for someone else to clean up – it did have to be dealt with. Too much of my own life has been spent dealing with the garbage that others left behind for me to deal with – it’s time to break that cycle. This is my third such dream in two months, three new houses and so things are changing at a rapid pace.
My house dreams – always cleaning up the mess that other people have left in my life that is holding me back and from dealing with the things that need to be overcome. In the past, I was only having to deal with the stuff because the old owners were long gone. This dream was different – relatives and a former ministry leader were there. Although some relatives were there in the house I was trying to get cleaned up, hampering me, and keeping me from returning to someone else what was theirs for no reason other than to have the illusion of control – it was the former ministry leader who was in my way of seeing the person I needed to talk to so I could address a gathered crowd about a problem. By walking forward, and putting him out of my line of sight, I was able to see the person I was addressing and I gave this stunningly brilliant speech that concerned the giving of loans to the poor but OF COURSE I can’t remember a word of it, only the topic, so even though it was brilliant I can’t remember any of it so it was totally wasted on my dream audience. Figures. LOL. I will probably never know what I said or even say it in broad daylight. Bah humbug….. it is not the first time this has happened. I should imagine we have all had such dreams where we do something amazing but alas – no witnesses!
The moral of the dream? People from your past often don’t want your life cleaned up – they want you to be that person they used to be able to control, keep down, discourage, frighten, misrepresent, judge, and get in the way of. They want to be better than you, more spiritual than you, able to pretend that you are still that ‘messed up’ person who they criticized, slighted, kept from doing what is right, got in the way of or betrayed. It’s the crab bucket mentality – live crabs in a bucket who try to escape will be pulled back in by crabs beneath them and it works with humans too. Oftentimes the very people who should want us to succeed the most really don’t want us to – they want us to be the people they look down on, or feel better than. Some people need that – they need to critique, judge, control, and get in your way – because if you move past them, they may have to turn around in order to really see you. Turning around (Hebrew “teshuva”) is symbolic of repentance, and in my dream, when I moved forward so that the one who betrayed me was out of my line of sight, even he had to turn in order to see me and he clapped along with everyone else at my speech. Dang it, what did I say anyway??
So pay attention to the direction that people are facing when they oppose you – as well as the direction you are facing. Sometimes opposition is a good thing – not everything we do should go unopposed – but when we are in fact truly cleaning up our lives (as opposed to trying to forcibly clean up everyone else’s life), truly doing good towards others (for their sake and not for show), or truly moving forward (when invited) then anyone opposing us is facing in the wrong direction.
Oh, the woman who lost her purse? It isn’t uncommon for people to lose their identity in the midst of critical, controlling and treacherous people – being restored and then restoring others is some of the purest work within the Kingdom.
Flip side of that – who in our own lives do we want to keep in that place where they were when they were abusive to us? How often do we truly want them to repent and be restored and to get cleaned up, and how often do we secretly (or not so secretly) want them to die evil so they can be banned from the Kingdom? Do we stand in public, scream and point at them until everyone hates them? While we look out for the people who are unrighteously standing in our way (as opposed to the ones who are righteously standing in our way), it is equally important to look and make sure that we aren’t unrighteously standing in the way of someone else (Warning: at first and easiest glance, we will always assume that we are righteously standing in someone else’s way). That’s tough, that requires real love – to want restoration for those who have sinned against you and have not repented, who in fact show zero remorse, oftentimes because they do not question their own actions. Not questioning our own rightness is an epidemic in the Body – and it is probably the most valuable thing we can do in the service of others.