a parable in a dream

And I keep having this dream
That you get swallowed by a darkness
The image appears so vividly
"Redemption," she prays, it seems so far in the distance
That's when I realize that the darkness is me...
[Standards, Boyhood Bravery]

I woke up about a week ago from a dream that involved a crime scene.  A murder scene, to be precise.  As far as I remember, the dream was mostly about trying to crack the case and figure out who the killer was.  (I haven't even been reading mysteries recently!)  Right before I woke up, I looked at my own hands and they were covered with blood.  Case solved.  All of the pieces fell into place.

(photo by Matt Popovich)
It was creepy, as far as dreams go, and also sobering, especially since the victim was someone who I really do not like all that much in real life.  I wouldn't have said "hate," but I'd be lying to say that I loved them.

I think that my subconscious has done a better job of grasping and absorbing the Sermon on the Mount than my heart has.  (See Matthew 5:21-26 , summarized in 1 John 3:15: "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer.")  The natural inclination of my heart is not towards kindness.  It's toward snarky, sarcastic comebacks and teasing at the expense of others and feeling justified in not liking (let alone loving) some people.

That dream wasn't fun.  But it was a powerful, potent reminder of the reality that underlies my attitude when I try to justify not loving the people around me.

So far this year has been one of surprising convictions, of God working in my heart in ways that are often uncomfortable.  Suffice it to say that I'm learning a lot about apologies and repentance.  It is humbling.  And it is so good, because it's a reminder that He is faithful, and He knows me, and He loves me.

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