Last night was the fist time in ages that I had a dream that seemed to speak of more than eating something too close to going to bed. I used to have these types of dreams quite often in my younger days. Dreams of semblance or meaning. When I was child they scared me. When I was a Pentecostal it was labeled as prophetic dreams. No matter what your background or theology many people from many walks of life takes dreams as a voice whether from God, your inner consciousness, or a guide for your life. My personal belief is that God speaks to us everyday through any voice we are able to hear. You may find this dream interesting and may interpret it in a way that has relevance to your life, but I will put what it meant to me as well. It may seem a bit like a sci-fi story, but read on and I would love to hear some of your interpretations at the end.
We were living in a post apocalyptic world. It was Jake, myself, our children, his sister and her his parents, my sister, her husband and son, and my mom, my Nanny (who passed away 26 years ago), my dad, a handful of people from our old church, my friends Tim and Stephanie, and many people who I did not know. Our children were all younger at that time. Jacob was in his teens and Matt was about 5. Many of us were living at this old abandoned amusement park. We were just a few miles from the ocean. The park was located high on hill and if you looked east you had a perfect view of the ocean pounding on the beach. To the west you could see the city that lay in ruins, smoke still rising from various fires. To the north was a wasteland. On the outskirts was what appeared to be dump of some sort. And the amusement park we were finding shelter in ran miles to the south. Behind it was an old zoo that still held some sickly animals that we were trying to protect, feed, and repopulate for our own food supply. The world had pretty much turned into your normal zombie movie, with a few exceptions. These people who had lost their minds to this "illness" only attacked if they recognized you were different from them. You could go out into their world, walk as they walked, be blank and uncaring and coexist without so much as a scratch. If you had any motivation or purpose to your stride, if they saw you ever try to assist another living being, they would attack and tear you to pieces. We would often stand at the gates to our makeshift village in the evenings and watch them wander on the beaches, or searching through the trash piles for food. On rare occasions something would bring a memory one of these ill souls and their heart would feel love from the past. If they were close enough to our shelter, Jake and our friend Tim would run a dangerous mission out to collect this "zombie" and get them back to our shelter where they could reclaim the type of life we still had. If we were not close enough, once the others recognized that this zombie had a spark of a thought for someone other than itself, they would tear that person to pieces and leave their body on the ground to rot. I kept thinking to myself how in an earlier time we would have been living in paradise! To be this close to the beach, and be surrounded by all you need would to keep you entertained and happy would have been a dream. Now we were living in crowded, uncomfortable, conditions, and had to stay constantly on the lookout to survive. My sister's husband decided he was tired of living this way, and he wanted his wife and child to conform to the zombies way of living so they could exist in a nice dwelling inside the city. They would have to walk around lifeless and uncaring when outdoors, but he said they could live as normal within the walls of a nice home in exchange for sacrificing their lifestyle. The adults in our village were so busy trying to save those few who regained the ability to think, to protect those we had living with us, and to provide the necessities to keep us alive that we were getting run down and unable to focus clearly on the task at hand. After a while of living this way some of the children started asking if there was a cure for living this way. Was there someone or something that could set us free from this lifestyle and make things right again. We told them we were doing all we knew to do to make life easier and to help as many as possible, but that things would remain they way they were. One afternoon my youngest son was sitting at the edge of the landfill. It was already a really hot and steamy day and we were looking for water bottles, or something we could drink. He found this old piece of wood that looked to be rotting. He was getting ready to take a bite when I yelled for him to stop. The other kids were laughing at him saying he was trying to eat "poop" and some of the adults were running up telling him not to put this dirty thing into his mouth. He looked at me and said Mom I know this is what we need to get better. He took a bite and water began to flow out of this rotted piece of wood. A small sticker fell off the back that said Cedar and in small print Living Water. I picked it up after him and took a bite. It was the most bitter taste I have ever encountered. But within seconds I could feel heat and vitality that I had not felt in years. It was as if my body was being healed from the inside out. My husband and other children took a drink from the juices as well. We tried to get my sister to take a bite, but she refused saying she could not go against her husband, and she did not want to be different from him. We tried to get Jake's sister to take a bite, but she refused saying that something so ugly and uncouth could not possibly be the way to a better life. Tim and Stephanie joined us in the drinking, but when they tried to get other members from our old church to take a drink, they refused saying they knew they way to healing it did not come through something so old and dirty, but through proper rituals and prayers. As we felt our bodies grow stronger and our minds grow sharper we tried to get others to drink from this rotted wood. We knew we had found the answer. A few joined us, but most wanted to hold on to their way of thinking. Embracing something so small, dirty, and ugly was not something that could even enter their lines of thinking. Then some people got really mad and started to try to fight us to get the wood so they could burn it. Once this started happening, I looked at Matthew and it appeared his skin was becoming transparent. It was as if he was slipping away. He said for me not to worry, it was nice where he was going and he totally disappeared from sight. Then the other children who had drank early on began to have the same effects. I was not afraid. I knew this was going to be a good transition, but I became frantic to get my sister to drink. She still refused saying she wanted to try Gary's way first. I broke off a small piece of the wood and slipped it in her pocket and told her to please join me as soon as she could. Then I faded away just as the others had done. When I awoke in the new place it was not new at all. I was in my Nanny's old home and the people who had drink of the water were all in this old reality with me. The other people in this realm were not zombies, but there were still hardships to overcome, people to help, and pain to endure. Yet inside the warmth and comfort of that bitter water seemed to keep us whole and focused. Later on others would join us. My sister had placed the bitter wood in a secure area before she and her son drank from the piece I had given her.
I guess my own interpretation for me would be multi layered. On the surface we all get so caught up in our day to day survival of making money, taking care of family, and providing for our needs that we become a type of zombie ourselves. We cannot see past our basic needs to the reality around us. Our time is consumed with things that eventually will rot away. Even in helping others we can loose the most important parts of life. On a more spiritual side I think the best way to real life is so often over looked even by those who are supposed to be pedaling it. The life that Jesus represented when he came was ugly and dirty and hard. He was in the dirt with the drunks, whores, and tax collectors. His drink was love and it was a very bitter cup indeed. Even to this day it is ritual, law and righteousness (self righteousness to be exact) that is being pushed as the answer by most of those in religious authority. Love an compassion and acceptance of our fellow man is a bitter, vile, thing that looks too much like acceptance of sin instead of what it is... What Jesus came to offer. For me this dream was about not joining the zombies of this age and being concerned with myself and my survival, but about accepting and sharing a love that will bring inner peace and healing. Not a life that will be easy and self satisfying, but a life that will be filled with storms, heartache, and pain. The secret to this dream is that bitter drink. That drink to me is the love of Jesus. A love I can carry inside for my own healing and the healing of others. A love that will bind my family together and make the way for a better life in a world that is full of strife.
What is your interpretation of this story?