This morning I woke up preaching in a dream-- it used to happen more often. I was at a church praying for sick people to be healed, for those without jobs to find them, and for those there with addictions for them to be broken. I read from 1 Corinthians and invited those with a word to come and share it, for those with a song to sing it, and for those with wisdom to give it. The Lord was so very alive and at work in His people-- it was extremely vivid. I remember asking people to stand up and to look around and see if the Lord impressed upon them any particular person in the sanctuary to remember it.
Then I began to ask those that were moving to a new home or apartment soon to stand up. I solicited volunteers to help them. I asked those that needed babysitters to stand up, and asked this congregation to volunteer to do it. I asked those that were lonely to stand up, asking the brethren, "is there anyone here that can be a friend to these people?"-- and then I woke up. Hmmmm...
I began to ponder what was going on-- I guess it is just a way of me longing for a different time, a closer walk, for more love and more power. Or possibly it was a future message to deliver somewhere, at some point.
As the church community in my region struggles to be relevant, I wonder how I can be the church? What can I do? And just when I think I am making progress, some of those I did have some relationship with just can't make the time; another suffers with cancer. It seems a little bizarre-- even sublime what is going on.
It's a dry time, but I have learned not to freak out, but to find life in difficult places. It is not easy, and sometimes it is downright painful. Where are the people that used to lavish love on me, pray for me, grab a coffee or check in if they didn't see me in church? I don't know. You see when things are plentiful, you can concentrate on church activities, conferences and the like. During those times, it's easy to overlook life outside the walls. In dry times, one where the church is not a place of refreshing, we need to find life in the desert. An experienced desert guide knows how to find water and food in a barren place. As a mature Christian, I need to do the same. Regardless of what is going on, I can still feed on the Word, listen to my own worship, and have relationship and fellowship with others.
As a Facebooker, I have found some meaningful, albeit not the same as real folks, fellowship with others. I communicate with those that God has given me, some in CA, others in IA, OH, TN, WA, VA and more. As I was writing this, a Facebook chat window popped from someone that I have known since probably 3rd or 4th grade-- "Hey, it looks like we have Jesus in common." As limited as it is, I am glad for online relationship. It makes me remember to engage with real folks, a new co-worker at the coffeepot, the sales associate at the coffee shop or someone else I may come into contact with. Why? Because I am the ambassador of Heaven.
Yesterday I was driving and scanning through my phone numbers wishing I had someone that could talk for a bit, and on the screen came a private number, followed by my default ring tone. These are usually employment recruiters. Even though I no longer need a job, I picked up anyway. "Hi, this is just a random call to see how your doing today?"
"I'm doing OK-- sitting in traffic at the moment-- but it's Friday," I said expecting the voice on the other end to offer me a job in NJ or something.
"Wow, traffic sucks, I am sorry to hear that. Well this was just a random call to see how your doing. Why don't you call someone else and see how they're doing? Pass it on." said the voice.
"I'll do that," I said.
"Alright, well you have a good day." And the conversation ended.
One last thought on my dream. What was it that I told people to remember in my dream? To find someone the Lord pointed out to them, and make them a project.