My partner informs me that I have weird dreams. I don't know why she thinks that. Doesn't everyone dream that the Florida Senate President had redone the legislative chamber to make the room "Bigger and Brighter"?
OK...that dream was a little weird. But no stranger than some of the others I have, or written about here on this blog. The dream I had recently definitely scored high on the strange-o-meter. But some of the ideas as to why I might have had this particular dream were really wonderful.
In this dream, which occurred a few days ago just before I was waking up, I saw one of the final scenes from my favorite film, "The Wizard of Oz". It's the moment where Dorothy learns from Glinda the Good Witch that she's always had the power to go home. If you remember, her traveling buddies are standing around her, and now she must say good-bye to each of them. She starts with the Tin Man, who tells her he knows he has a heart "because it's breaking." Dorothy tells the Cowardly Lion she'll miss the way he used to call for help before he found his courage to which he says, "I never would've found it if it hadn't been for you." And finally the Scarecrow, who's got his brain, and Dorothy hug each other with little more than, "I'm going to miss you most of all." Having said her good-byes, Dorothy taps her heels together three times and repeats the famous mantra, "There's no place like home."
So, I woke up with this scene having played in its entirety with all the full-color images and dialogue in tact, and was again reminded of the phrase from this past Sunday's gospel:
"Get out of the boat!"
What's that all about?? Why did I experience this moment of movie memories and then one more round of "Get out of the boat"?
I talked it over with people. My friend Diana offered that each of the characters represent elements of God, and elements that are within me that I am discovering. My partner thought these were also the pathways to God (through the heart, through the mind). But in my own thinking I was also interested in the connection back to Peter getting out of the boat and walking toward Jesus (God) which he is capable of doing as he keeps his eyes forward and on Jesus....and then sinks the minute he feels the wind blow and lets fear overcome him.
The thoughts I have on this dream go in lots of directions. One thought is that each of these characters had to go through a lot to discover those powers they always had within them. And now that they've got them, they are ready to "get out of the boat"....the boat being the "old and familiar" way that they had been before they embarked on their yellow brick road journey.
But dreams aren't about the characters, they are about the dreamer...in this case: me. And so another one of my reflections is on the elements each were seeking: heart, courage, brain, and home. Going back to what Diana noted, these are parts of me that have all become more engaged in the past nine months as I float along on this boat ride. Similarly, Isabelle's observation about how one seeks God reminded me of those times when I have had fleeting glances at the "who" of God...mostly through dreams. And then there is the prayer we say in the Episcopal Church following the eucharist:
"Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ. And you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his body and blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart through Christ our Lord. Amen."
You figure this is the "going home" prayer, the very time when we must "get out of the boat."