So last night my dreams about dad took on a whole new element. (I've mentioned before that I frequently dream of him.)
In this dream, I was back in my home church in Marlow setting with a family friend, Retha. (Side Note: My mom and dad were best friends with Retha and her husband, James. James passed away several years ago from cancer. Since dad was a deacon (but divorced) and Retha was a deacon's wife (w/o a husband), they would go to deacon-and-wives things together. They are very close family friends.)
Anyway, I was with Retha at church and there was some sort of youth musical or something going on that night. But all of a sudden, the dream "me" started seeing, for lack of a better word, ghosts. My dad was there and so was James. Only certain people in the crowd could see them, and I was one of them although Retha, setting next to me, could not.
It was weird because in the dream I knew they were dead and I shouldn't be able to see them. Instead of it being creepy or sad, it was more....more spiritually moving than anything. There were "others"--even children--that I saw.
It was as if they were there to encourage us on. It seems even in the dream I was moved to tears--not of sadness--but of hope and joy. And although Dad looked the same, he was somewhat "younger" too.....like at the height of his health and vitality. There was a peace about him, a joyful calm. The feeling this dream left on me it hard to articulate.
I think this dream might have come about because I had just read the end of HP 3 yesterday, in which there is a memorable moment where Harry admits he thought he saw his dad, although he knew he was dead.
Professor Dumledore replies to Harry, "You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him."
How profoundly true. My dad hasn't truly left me. His legacy does live on in me, and his faith is there to urge me on to the prize.
Hebrews 12:1-2 has always been a favorite passage. In a small way, I was able to experience the emotion, joy and comfort of that cloud of witnesses last night. It still is so bizarre thinking about that dream and the hope it filled me with.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."