Dream Parable: For those who are hungry… who mourn… who are weak…

Blessed are those who mourn… who are hungry… who are weak…

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

From the series, "Dream Parables"

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matthew 5

A dream parable…

My friends and I had been walking along a wide path through the countryside for many hours when we decided to sit down in a shady arbor to rest. A lone figure approached, offering us each a leafy branch. To touch it, it felt like an ordinary branch but upon closer examination it exuded a whole different sensual experience and the aroma was unlike anything we had ever smelled. Inhaling the scent of the branch made me feel somehow more alive. It reminded me of Home, a place I had long ago forgotten but was nevertheless calling to me from deep within my soul.

Not only did it smell heavenly but its leaves and flowers were vibrant and each branch had multiple blossoms and fruit. Each branch had two different sizes and flavors of fruits that tasted like plums and grapes. I bit into one that appeared to be a plum and it was perfection – yummy, juicy, flavorful. We ate one after another, relishing the thick, sweet juices that spurted down our faces.

"Where did this come from?" I asked. The generous stranger smiled in reply and invited us to gather up the used branches and to bring them with us as we walked up a garden path to a little cottage alongside the road.

My jaw dropped in wonder to view the unlimited trees that stretched as far as the eye could see. Each tree produced fruit in season, in one month intervals. The leaves were useful to treat infections and diseases and the fruit was so full of nutrition that you could easily live healthfully with nothing else to supplement your diet.

The best part was that when you stuck your branch in the ground, as our guide instructed us to do, the branch sprouted and became a new tree! There was obviously no danger of famine with a garden like this!

My friends and I thanked our kind benefactor and continued walking down the road. It seemed we were like pilgrims, in search of Home. It was twilight and the fruit had sustained us for many hours, but we were tired and weary, once again. Just off the road, we spotted a barn. A sign on the door said, "Welcome Pilgrims!" so we opened the door, hoping to find a straw bed upon which to rest.

Just like before, a kind gentleman entered the barn which was lit by an overhead skylight that illuminated the interior of our resting place, bathing it with a radiant but soft light. He must have been the farmer, I don't know, but he pointed to the nursing lambs and the ewes who gently cared for every need of the young ones. I was given a branch just like the one before, and the farmer said in the kindest of tones, "Just like I care for my lambs, so I care for you, Little One."

In contrast, I think of many churches I've been part of, and how the "sheep and lambs" are fleeced until they bleed. They serve to feed the leaders, but in this realm, true leaders care for the needs of the sheep.

My adventure was still in the beginning stages, as I had much more to learn about God's road Home. In the morning, my companions and I arose and ate again, thanking the kind farmer for his hospitality.

By mid-day we had walked many miles and found ourselves in a suburban neighborhood, near a great city. Knocking on the door to a house, that displayed a sign, "Welcome Pilgrims," we entered what seemed to me to be a fairly ordinary home. No one was home but the sign said to come in and make ourselves at home. It was much like an earthly house – except, well… how do you describe these things, these visions that are so close to earth, but yet somehow MORE?

Like women do, I noticed how each room was decorated in such a way to make each member of the family feel comfortable, safe, warm, and happy. Entering the kitchen, I took note of the simplicity. I opened the back door and sat on the patio. It was a work day, and everyone had jobs to do.

A neighbor spotted me relaxing under a tall shade tree and came over to chat. He was an older man and had white hair and gray eyes that seemed to laugh, even when he was talking seriously. I had so many questions and he was eager to share the answers with me, he said. Pilgrims are a common site, he told me, and we all asked the same questions!

"What do people do here? What are their jobs?"

Swinging gently in a giant hammock strung between two giant trees, the nameless neighbor pointed out the multitude of fruit dangling from the tree's limbs. He asked, "You've eaten of this fruit?"

"Oh yes!" I replied, gushing my awe and wonder of how good the food was.

"Here we do not work for our food, my daughter," the neighbor explained, his hammock gently swinging back and forth. "We work because of our passion to work. Each person is passionate about something, and that is what they work at all day long. Most people choose to work in the marketplace because that is where most transactions occur, and they find it more invigorating to return home each evening. Our days are much longer here than you are used to, so everyone arrives home in full daylight with enough hours over for plenty of recreation and relaxing!"

"You don't work for food?" I asked. I couldn't imagine such a place being real. The neighbor pointed to the trees and said, "Everything we need for sustenance grows freely and effortlessly. We all have our own gardens, you see."

"Who is in charge of this place? Do you have a democractic government? Do you have a president or a king or a queen?"

The neighbor grinned and with a chuckle, he said, "Power and control are twin diseases of mankind. We have no positions here, only passions. Whoever desires to lead, leads. Whoever decides to follow, follows. All are the same importance. If you decide to lead, you become the servant of all. Only one King rules here, and His rule is very simple. We are commanded to love Him with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our strength, and with all of our intelligence. We love each other, in the same way, even our enemies."

"We have the same two laws in our New Testament, but hardly anyone gives them much thought." I looked downward, as I said this, for my own heart was convicted in the light of this marvelous place.

"Come, I want to show you a surprise!" The old man leaped out of the hammock and practically skipped to the garage.

I got up from the patio and walked to the garage with him. A garland of flowers decorated the white facade and the first thing I noticed was that although the sun was at its hottest these flowers had not wilted, not one one petal had turned brown!

"Ha ha he he!" guffawed the neighbor nearby, who had followed my gaze to the flowery garland. "Life without death, my little lady. There is only Life – abundant life – here!"

I must stop here, because the dream ended and I awakened.

It's really too big for my mind to comprehend! But there's a passage in the book of John that talks about this kind of life being a gift to us! To humans living on earth in the here and now, that is.

You see, Death was defeated at the Cross!

My brain was pumping extra hard, as I awakened from the dream. It's a new day that began over 2000 years ago. A resurrection day. A day when Christ cheated the grave of its prize, descended into hell and took the keys, let loose all the prisoners, and then rose to Heaven in plain sight of witnesses.

As if that wasn't enough, He told us that we would do greater works than He did. He promised us two things: 1.) that we would pick up our own cross (that usually means persecution and suffering caused by religion and 2.) that we would rise from the dead with Him and experience life MORE abundantly.

To me, this means that all of us going through the suffering, privation, homelessness, destitution, hunger, and pain of leaving religion behind… taunted, intimated, and threatened by the sociopaths of this world… these have simply been preparing us for the "greater things" by working in us a greater character and maturity.

God loves me enough to not always come to my rescue in my trials but to walk me through them so that He can build in me the strength that I need to fulfill them.

 

"For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone." ~ Lamentations 3:33

As I collect these dream parables, I realize that I don't have all the keys to unlocking the meaning of them, so I submit them to you. Perhaps you will have more understanding and insight. All I know is that this place was very real to me, even though it happened in a dream. It's the kind of dream that changes you from the inside out… like when the farmer turned to me and said, "As I care for these lambs, so I care for you, Little One!"

I don't place these dreams higher than Scripture, the written Word, but instead these dreams have caused me to dig deep wells from the Scriptures, in discovering the real character and nature of God!

All the "do not fears" … all the verses from Matthew and Luke that speak of abundant, effortless provision… these verses come alive in the context of the dream parable. Reading Scripture is a left brain activity and dreaming is a right brain activity. Together, I believe, we can learn that God is Good… and that He wants to provide for you in such an abundant, loving way that you will stand in awe and wonder.

Not just after death, in Heaven, but here on earth, too.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

 

 

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With all my love,

Sue

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  

Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

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