Monday, February 15, 2016

Death by Hanging--On a Coat Hook

For me, to live is Christ (His life in me), and to die is gain (the gain of the glory of eternity).

I had a dream the other night that I was arrested for disturbing the peace. When I told Hubbles of my dream, he laughed and said, "I can kind of see that happening." Thanks.



Anyway, the freaky part about this dream is that my sentence was death by hanging. I was led to the place where the hanging would take place and standing there, I realized that this was a reality. I was going to be hanged (hung?) and I would die. I suddenly felt frightened beyond anything I'd ever felt before--frightened, vulnerable, and utterly helpless,

When I looked around for the noose, all I saw was a hook on a wall. A coat hook. And I thought, Am I going to hang around like a coat until I just wear out? 



Perhaps I mentioned to my captors something about this not being a very effective way for me to pass on, and they thought better of it, because they decided to incarcerate me instead--for two years. Then, perhaps after that time, I'd hang. I suppose they needed awhile to perfect their torture methods. Lucky me.

What transpired next was more like a movie, and boy I wish I could remember it all, because it was quite good. I was left in some sort of marketplace to be looked after by someone while they prepared a cell or something, but that someone got distracted, and the rest of the movie was about how people helped me escape.

Okay, laugh if you will. Death by hanging on a coat hook until you just expire from boredom. 

But the thing is...I can still remember the heart-pounding fear. The reality of facing my death. There was no way out. (Well, apparently there was a loophole since they hadn't thought the whole coat hook thing through and I was going to be jailed for awhile instead, but I didn't know that yet). I marvel at how we can recall feelings in dreams, as if they really happened.

It made me think that perhaps I was standing up for my beliefs and being persecuted for them. Like a martyr, which I am so not. Like Paul.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was imprisoned, enduring great suffering. Yet his writings were filled with encouragement and joy. He had learned to be content regardless of his circumstances and commissioned the church to rejoice in their sufferings as well (You can read a wonderful summary on the Biblegateway.com blog here). These words still commission us to the same joy today.



Now that I've experienced my own persecution (okay, so it was in a dream!), I can read this letter in a way I hadn't before and understand how Paul might feel torn between leaving this earth and those who rely on him for advice and guidance--not to mention those who love him--and spending eternity with Christ. An emotional struggle, for sure.

Getting back to my dream, I suppose my captors may have reconsidered allowing me to just expire on the coat hook because of how long it would take to actually shut me up---remember, I was arrested for disturbing the peace, not unlike Paul. Did they really think I'd just hang there and solemnly allow myself to fade away? Not this gal. I may not be the boldest evangelical out there, but I know how not to shut up---and I think that's not always such a bad thing.




Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

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14 comments:

  1. LOVE this post! I rarely remember my dreams, but my husband has vivid complex ones. Interestingly, as I was reading along in this post, I immediately thought of Paul and smiled when you made that comparison. Last week I had a dream that I actually recalled. It was an ugly one of long-past errors in judgment and I felt the horror of my sin, but in the midst of it I sensed the Lord enter the picture and share something with me about all of it I had not heard from Him even though I have known and felt His grace and forgiveness for quite awhile now. I woke up rejoicing! Blessings, Mary! Visiting today as your neighbor #The Beauty in His Grip

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    1. I wasn't sure if the title would shock people and cause them to stay away, so I'm glad you popped over and took a read through. You know, when I was writing the blog, I really didn't know where it was going. I really hadn't thought of Paul until I started searching for verses. Then it hit me...hard! Thanks for visiting. And thanks for sharing that remarkable time of healing and forgiveness...in a dream!

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  2. Your title intrigued me and drew me to read your post. What a vivid dream- and I love how God can use things like that to speak to us. Visiting from Testimony Tuesday.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Carly. I'm glad the title intrigued you and didn't scare you away.

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  3. What a crazy dream, Mary! I had a very vivid one last night too, but it was a good one and not one where I was facing death! Yikes! I've had dreams like that before and it is very emotional and surreal. I'm so glad that you did not die by coat-hook hanging! But I do love how it reminded you of what Paul might have felt. Don't ya just love the way God opens our eyes to the way those in Scripture might have felt? He is such a great Dream weaver and Lover of our souls! Hugs to you, girlfriend!

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    1. I have a lot of vivid dreams, and remember a lot of them. I love how God speaks to me through dreams, but sometimes I'm not sure if it's God or just weird dreams. I always ask him, and if it stays with me, niggles at me, it's usually a prodding from the Holy Spirit to ask Him more. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to pop over here!

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  4. Mary, I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. It is amazing how dreams draw out emotions. I love how yours helped you identify with Paul and highlight how remarkable his response to persecution was. I feel sure I'd have responded more like you did in your dream. But I trust that God's grace will be there for us in our time of need!

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    1. You know, Debbie, I had to ask myself what I would do if I really faced persecution--which is actually very likely in today's world. The blog almost turned into that, but I felt that wasn't what I was supposed to talk about. THAT would have been a REALLY serious topic--one I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle publicly. Thanks for visiting.

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  5. Excellent post Mary,
    I like your interpretation of the dream and also your beautiful Bible journalling. Congratulations!
    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Thanks, Janis! I have to thank you for the encouragement as well as the tools.

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  6. I've got the weirdest dreams recently.
    Dreams are good messages or signs, huh? Good one for you to have that with Paul.

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    1. I usually ask the Holy Spirit, Lux. I am a vivid dreamer, and do remember a lot. If it doesn't go away, but more is revealed, it's usually from God. When I was performing/doing music ministry, I used to have a lot of bathroom dreams. Like the door wasn't there and everyone watched me. I discovered that bathroom dreams meant that I felt vulnerable, afraid of failure, rejection, etc. And vehicle dreams were a sign of where I was going in my walk/ministry and how quickly I would getting there. Pay attention to your dreams and write them down as soon as you wake up. The ones that I say, "Wow, that was cool. I will remember that when I get up in the morning!" are the ones I usually forget and wish I'd written down. Good to see you

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  7. What an incredibly vivid dream! It's is interesting how we can remember certain emotions and images in dreams but not remember the whole thing. It seems like we can learn things from our dreams. Yours gave you a scare, but it gives each of us a challenge to think about how we would react if we met with that reality. May God bless you and yours! Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from #WeekendWhispers

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  8. Mary, I love this! And I'm with you girl, I will not shut up. As long as He gives me a voice I will speak up. Thanks for sharing your dream and a great lesson we can all take from it! Sharing this at the Blog Hop on Counting My Blessings this week!

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