Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Lavender Bridge

I dreamed last night of a little girl with bows in her hair. I knew immediately she was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was young, not more than five or six years old. Her hair was pulled to either side and held in place by lavender bows, and the bows came flowing forth in two lines. A new bow appeared to replace each one that floated toward me, creating a lavender stream, flowing gently from her to me.

The bows from the right side of her hair were perfect, each one was fully shaped and proportioned, symmetrical and pretty. The ones from the left side were crude and clumsy, as if the little girl had tied them herself. The difference between the two kinds of bows was unmistakable, but she did not seem to mind. As I watched these bows in my dream the Spirit said “the bows coming from her right side are the intentions of her heart. She desires perfection, beauty and grace before me. The ones coming from the left side represent her ability to achieve these intentions.”

I continued to look at the little girl and something amazing happened! She began to age before my eyes. First she was but five or six years old: then seven, then eight. Still the bows streamed out. In only a few moments the girl became an adolescent, then a young woman, until she was finally mature. Through the changes the lavender bows continued to come, but the clumsy and rugged bows from the left side became more complete with each passing year until at last the two lines of bows were the same. The dream ended; I woke up an hour before the alarm was set.

In that hour I used the dream as my morning prayer before God, letting the images sink into my waking thoughts. I asked the Lord if this dream was for me or someone else (the fact that you’re reading it on my blog gives you the answer to that question!); I asked Him if there was meaning beyond the words spoken by the Holy Spirit in the dream. After some reflection the phrase “the full stature of Christ” came to mind. I knew the phrase came from one of Paul’s letters, and with the help of Bible Gateway I found the passage:
“ . . . until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesian 4: 13)
In the past few weeks at Students of Jesus we’ve discussed the process of spiritual formation: we’ve pondered over whether perfection is possible in the life of a disciple; how spiritual transformation depends upon relationship above precept; and how change runs deep when we cooperate with the Father. So today I add a few simple observations based upon a gentle dream and the passage it brought to mind:

Spiritual Transformation is a royal calling: the color of the bows represent the royalty to which we are born in the kingdom of God. Lavender is baby-purple, and purple is used throughout the scripture to represent royalty. We, too--you and I--are a royal priesthood, a chosen nation (I Peter 2: 9-10), who are called to represent the One who called us out of darkness into light. We can wear that calling like a gentle adornment in our lives.

Spiritual Transformation is a process: That the little girl became an adult, and the bows became more complete indicates some changes take time, and the Lord is well aware of the process. He knows the intentions of our heart and sees the clumsy nature of our attempts to imitate his completeness. Our standing before God changes when we are born from above, his image in our lives can grow more and more complete if our intentions and practices remain focused upon him: what the scripture calls “ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Spiritual Transformation has a place for the imperfect: No one expects a child to have it all together. The bows on her left side were clumsy and crude, but there’s nothing wrong with a child who is disheveled. In fact, a child who is always perfectly groomed would be the exception! We expect children to have untied shoelaces, grass-stains on their jeans, and bows that just don’t quite hang right. It means they are normal children. And I, for one, am glad that Jesus loves the little children of the world, because it’s his good pleasure to give us the kingdom. The passage in Ephesians reminds us that we can all attain “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The Lord comes close to anyone who wants to be like him. He draws near in the most unexpected ways. Why not post a comment and share the dreams given to you by the Spirit?

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful Ray! Loved it.

    Andrew

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ray. Just this morning I wrote in my journal..."I've been working on "deconstruction" (of negative and untrue thought/belief patterns)for so long...and I don't feel as if I have gotten very far...some would say that the realization of these things is the biggest part. But it has been almost a year and still, I find myself there again...".

    Your dream and the interpretation brought tears to my eyes as I felt God comforting me through it. I love this path of spiritual formation and would not trade it for anything...but oh, the wait! Some days the possibility of true change seems so unreachable. If I can push through the frustration and failure, I see that this humility is the beginning of change, and I am comforted.

    This is the first time I have read your blog...I think I'll be back :).

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  3. HI Kelli: Thanks so much much for your kind words, and I'm thrilled that this post encouraged you. It's cool when God speaks through multiple sources at the same time, and it's a privilege to be a part of that. You're welcome back any time!

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  4. Dearest brothter, I cannot tell you how often I peek over at your blog and come away completely blessed. This today, even more so. I have struggled back and forth in this issue, crying out to God for comfort. Thank you for being faithful to post it up for everyone...I truly am blessed. I pray the Lord would continue to anoint your thoughts, dreams, and computer and continue to reveal Himself to you in a powerful way. Know that you have blessed many you will never see until the day we are all at His feet!

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  5. Thanks so much, Cassie. Blessings!

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  6. Thanks so much, Cassie. Blessings!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ray. Just this morning I wrote in my journal..."I've been working on "deconstruction" (of negative and untrue thought/belief patterns)for so long...and I don't feel as if I have gotten very far...some would say that the realization of these things is the biggest part. But it has been almost a year and still, I find myself there again...".

    Your dream and the interpretation brought tears to my eyes as I felt God comforting me through it. I love this path of spiritual formation and would not trade it for anything...but oh, the wait! Some days the possibility of true change seems so unreachable. If I can push through the frustration and failure, I see that this humility is the beginning of change, and I am comforted.

    This is the first time I have read your blog...I think I'll be back :).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful Ray! Loved it.

    Andrew

    ReplyDelete
  9. HI Kelli: Thanks so much much for your kind words, and I'm thrilled that this post encouraged you. It's cool when God speaks through multiple sources at the same time, and it's a privilege to be a part of that. You're welcome back any time!

    ReplyDelete