Dreams are the language of the soul. They reveal things that need to come to the surface, but which are hindered in some way. They point to areas of prayer and contemplation.
Last night I dreamed of a place that doesn’t actually exist, but it’s a moral reference point in my soul. It’s a collection of expensive office buildings on the north shore of a small lake. The landscaping includes very few trees, and their placement reflects an attempt to be artistic, not carefully considered. The buildings stand between the lake and a river, and there are hills and a highway to the south. The office buildings are typical of American corruption, being expensive to rent but now falling apart in subtle ways. The parking lot is showing signs of wear because the under-layer was too quickly done and the asphalt too thinly laid. The place still looks nice until you get close.
This is the setting for reviewing periods in my life when I was involved in something corrupt. Most of the time, it involves religious organizations. In my dreams, I encounter again people whom I’ve known while trying to serve in the ministry.
You have to understand that dreams are typically a mixture of emotions and moral discernment. This whole thing works far better if you are heart-led, naturally. The heart-led way teaches your mind a great deal about itself, exposing all the things your mind would rather ignore.
Don’t be confused about how this works. There is no objective truth; you have to learn to stop looking for it. The moral evaluations being revealed in your dreams are for you alone, at least at first. If you hold moral dominion that includes other people, then your dreams will often indicate things you need to share. But be careful, because you’ll typically run into moral discernment that is hindered by fleshly loyalties.
Some of the major figures that appear in my dreams are people who managed to instill loyalty in large numbers of people. These people will tend to think in terms of objective reality, as if it actually existed. They take themselves too seriously, but perhaps not consciously so. They believe in an enforced humility, as a rule and regulation, not as a simple fact of gratitude at God’s redemption. So they say things like, “You can talk bad about me, but don’t you dare slander old So-n-so!” They are defensive about their opinions. God’s servants have always been fallible, but the better servants are the ones who never forget it.
You may find yourself in a tough situation trying to breathe sanity into a situation that verges on a cult-like following of someone. It’s one thing when you can point to specific behaviors you witnessed first hand; that gives you a strong place to stand when you share a witness of someone’s foibles. It’s much more difficult to discuss those wordless moral discernments of the heart. Sometimes you simply have to say, “That’s not for me.” It often means walking away from something in which you have invested a lot, and it’s painful. You have to learn to cut your losses, to know when something has expired in your life.
So my dream of that recurring reference point, those office buildings between the river and the lake, was the scene of encountering some ghosts of past struggles. It was all connected to First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, OK. There was one man I would still trust, Bailey Smith, who was at one time pastor there. I don’t agree with his theology, and I’ve seen some of his flaws, but he saw them, too. I could serve with him if he had any use for me. None of his successors there inspired me. The organization itself doesn’t inspire me, though I have some bright spots in my memories there. Still, this was the last mainstream church I attended. It has nothing to do with what most people would consider justified regard; it remains a matter of heart-led discernment. It’s a question of what God has called me to, not whether any of them were good or bad men.
That reference point in my dream has seen other organizations in previous times. It’s quite likely I will visit that place again in the future, housing other organizations and people my soul needs to review as God leads me through changes.