Throw Back Thursday and The Bear

Once a long time ago I belonged to the 3rd service at my church.  We had contemporary service.  We had a band and “God Rock”.  We danced we laughed and sometimes we cried.  I volunteered to do the Call to Worship each week and because of our eclectic nature, I was also allowed to add whatever the spirit moved me to say.  Back in the day I swear I was walking so close to Christ that I could feel His robes against my arm as I walked.  I shared this story with the community in August 2009…
Last week, if you remember, I told you I had lost the voices that live in my head that make me have something to add when I stand here before you. I want to announce that they are back. Sneaky little voices figured out that if they couldn’t talk to me while I was awake, they would wait until I was sleeping.

I know Dreams are controversial. Some say they are just your brains way of discharging and resetting itself for the next day. I agree with that. Dreams can be weird, scary, or funny. However, most of the time nonsensical and meaningless. I agree with that also. Nevertheless, sometimes, something connects, something makes you stop and pay attention. It stays with you. It has been over a week since I had this dream and it is still with me, speaking to me. That is how I know that this came from my voices and not just random electrical discharges. I want to share it with you so bear with me, no pun intended…

I dreamt: That I was walking in a valley of tall grass. The grass was silky and my bare feet weren’t bothered by ground below them. I knew I was supposed to be there, to be walking but I didn’t know why. The valley was void of other people. I was completely alone. It didn’t really seem to bother me, it was as if that is what I had always been doing and that was all I knew to do.

In the distance, I saw a bear. I wasn’t afraid of her so I approached her. She rose up on her hind legs to beckon me to come to her. When I got there she enveloped me in her arms. She standing 10 feet tall and me small in comparison. I disappeared in her hug as she wrapped her arms around me. I was suddenly surrounded by warm fur and I could her her heartbeat. I suddenly thought to myself, this is why I had been walking. I finally found whatever it was I was supposed to.

She pulled me away and motioned for me to follow her. She took me to her home. A huge warm cave, with a stream running through the back of the cave. We sat before a warm fire, ate berries and nuts, and drank from the stream until I was full and drowsy.

When night came she once again allowed me to curl up next to her, disappear inside of her as she would if she were protecting her own cub. We lay there, watching the stars move across the sky and the fire burn down to embers. Our heartbeats slowly became one rhythm and I drifted off to sleep knowing that I was finally home.

In the morning, we again ate and drank until we were full. She then moved to the front of the cave and motioned for me to come. I thought she wanted to show me something. But she motioned for me to leave. Lovingly, but firmly. I was stunned, I looked at her begging her not to make me, compassionate but firmly she motioned again for me to go. And so I did. Down from the mountain and back into that valley of silk grass. I began to walk, like I always had. I turned once to see her one more time but I had walked too far and she was out of sight. So I turned, and continued walking.

And so there ends my dream.

I began to mull it over the moment I woke up. It was too vivid to not mean anything to me. And so I began looking for the parallel in my life to this experience. I found 3 possible interpretations. I would like very much to share them with you.
We are all on our separate journey. We most times don’t know the where or the why’s of it. But we go, because, well that’s what we do.

Perhaps, the bear came to to me as a manifestation of God’s love.
A reminder, of the great love, the great comfort in which God extended to each of us. He fed me, warmed, and comforted me. He slaked my thirst. Held me until we became one heartbeat. But in the morning, he expected me to continue on. That I still did have a journey and although I didn’t want to go because I felt I was home, he knew it wasn’t time for me to come home. I needed to finish whatever the heck I was I was doing.

Perhaps, the bear represented our church.
Again, a reminder of the great comfort this church, our church extends to each of us that comes here thirsty for comfort and warmth. That we as a church are that bear, we should aspire emulate that bear. Fold each other into our church. Be sure to offer the hospitality, find the needs of one another and of our visitors and offer sanctuary, no matter for how short of a time it is, from the journey each of us are on. So as we walk the next 6 days of our lives, we remember vividly the comfort and are sustained.

Perhaps, the bear represents each one of us as individuals.
Oooh, this is the hard one for me because it is no longer God taking care of me, its no long the church taking care of each other as a group. Now, its just me. Do I extend the comfort and the safety of the bear to those I deal with in my 6 days of walking in my journey? After my needs have been met here on my 7th day? Do I make sure that people know there is a safe place with me, no matter the reason they need one? Do I encourage them to continue on, give them courage to continue with the knowledge that there will always be a safe place, a loving place with me, when their journey has been long and arduous, or disappointing or faith breaking? Am I doing that? I don’t know, I hope so. I know I will continue to try to do better.

So ends my speculation over what my voices brought to me last Sunday night.
Please join me in the Call to Worship…

Call to Worship

We gather in the Spirit of God,
Many people with a common purpose,
To live the way of God in our lives and world.

Teach Me Wisdom

The Spirit of Wisdom surrounds us
Filling us with knowledge of God’s will
And shaping our hearts into the very heart of God

Teach Me Wisdom

Come, and practice wisdom ways
In this sacred community
That knows and wills the righteousness of God.

Teach Me Wisdom


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