Of Dreams and Longings
I never met Jesus in person. But once, I knew what He was like.
When I woke up, I sensed I had just entered one of the saddest mornings of my life. For with the waking, a deep understanding left and a longing entered. My attempt of trying to recall will not be sufficient. Longings are not expressed with words. They are expressed with what is not, with silence, a void. Words, either spoken or written, do little good to express that which is not. However, in this deep longing something equally powerful is born. Here, in the void of unfulfilled desires, in the longing for love, hope falls into the soil of our dry hearts. There it grows, watered by faith, until the day Love is finally revealed in His fullest.
In my dream I was walking through the corridors of a large house. Rooms spread on each side. Each room held something which tried to draw me in. There were representations of my life, reminders of everything important to me – my husband, my children, my work, friends, and church. I slowly passed these rooms peeking into each one of them – never entering.
Then, I came to the last room.
A man sat sideways near the doorway with his legs crossed. When he saw me, he grabbed my attention with his eyes. His gaze was warm. I have no recollection of what he looked like. I only remember his eyes. I was captivated by his warm demeanor, reflected in his intent look. I wanted to keep walking but his kindness pulled me. Still looking at me, he slowly uncrossed his legs, got up, and walked out of the room into the hallway toward me.
As he approached, it was as if I became completely visible. Everything about me felt exposed. I could not speak, for he already knew everything I was going to say. I tried looking away, despairing of the sickness I was feeling about myself. Anything I could have uttered, would only have been a vague reflection of what he already saw. I knew he was familiar with all of me. He enveloped me with an indescribable and awful intimacy. I felt as if I was made of glass. Memories of hurt and betrayal I had caused in the past, lies I had told, the times I cheated, all flooded to mind. The shame and fear became almost unbearable. I wanted to hide but couldn’t, run away but was arrested. I was drawn to him more than my fear could keep me from him. I saw it in his eyes; he wanted me to be there. I felt his desire for my presence, even though he was able to see me completely.
Suddenly, my shame melted altogether away and was replaced by a sense of a love which I cannot describe in its fullest.
I was known and knew he loved me despite. Forgiven. The One who held such love looked past all my failures.
Contentment and inexpressible, silent joy washed over me. Never in my life had I felt this kind of peace, nor am I able to compare it to any desire I ever had. It was a mixture of a perfect father’s love, a brother’s love, a love for and to a child, a love made of a million loves, a unity, a fellowship. I knew instantly, this was not a love of earth. But I knew, I had been created to know and experience it.
Then, at the moment of deepest awareness, this fellowship and nearness, I sensed my surroundings coming back into focus. I felt the bedding around me. Noticed the dark walls of the room coming into focus and saw the small amount of light peeking through the window. I tried to ignore it and get back to Love. But, as water pouring from a pitcher into sand, being soaked into the ground, so this love left my soul. Like the opposite of a nightmare, I tried to recall the details. To no avail. The harder I tried, the more I was aware I had been dreaming.
“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” John 4:29
(Essay and photos, Heidi Viars, 2021)