“God lives in your dreams.”
So says a line in one of Gwyn’s children’s books. Our congregation is beginning to dream again, and I’m curious how this dreaming can invite God more fully into our midst.
When I’ve dreamed dreams for my future, those dreams that tug me with longing are born of both me (my talents, my interests, my personality) and God. How do I know God’s in the mix? Usually some mystery is involved—where did this longing originate? Where is it taking me?—with no logical explanation. Usually the essence of my being is stirred when I work with the dream. Usually the dream pulls me into my best self while also serving some pressing need evident in the world. Almost always the dream seems impossible or stupid; it rarely comes with cultural affirmation and almost never with money. By following the dream, the world becomes a better place, but in a sly, backwards way that few people recognize.
The God of dreams asks us to co-create. We don’t need to wrangle our dreams into fruition using sheer will power. Nor does God wave a magic wand and grant our wishes. Instead, God joins us as we listen to our heart’s longings, as we write them down, as we sweat and argue and problem-solve in our efforts to manifest dreams. God surprises us with unexpected challenges and with tiny moments of grace. We must be active players in bringing about our dream, and we must humbly accept God’s participation. The process of heeding our dreams is so rich, it often outshines the final result.
Surely God lives in the dreams of groups of people as well. God—creative energy, the unfolding of justice, the great pulsing love at the center of the universe—wants nothing more than to come alive. May God use our dreaming and scheming to bring this about. –Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew