I believe in holding on to good things. The stock market drops. The internet fails. The flu got you again, and it’s a new strand the flu shot didn’t cover. Third year in a row. But there’s a positive in all these. You didn’t get the strands the flu shot did cover. Maybe you could use a little rest from the internet. And maybe you should buy stock while it’s cheap. And maybe it’s all a dream anyway.
I had an experience that ended up a dream. It began some twenty years ago when I sneaked out of bed in my huge pajama shirt and walked in the dark to the kitchen, where, to my relief, someone had neglected to turn off the stove lamp. I climbed atop the Formica counter to the left of the sink and opened the cupboard door where several white pill bottles stood on a plastic lazy-Susan. I sat on my feet and slowly spun the lazy Susan while I chose which pills to taste first.
There were six or seven lids strewn on the countertop by the time I noticed the ache in my stomach.
Just then, my father entered the kitchen wearing a blue bathrobe. “What are you doing, Son?” he asked. Immediately, I had a distinct impression that my father had been led by the Spirit. He opened the refrigerator and then the cupboard door on the right side of the sink. He selected two glasses and poured some orange juice. “Drink up,” he told me. “It’ll make you feel better.”
The chalky taste in my mouth was replaced by the rich, smooth tang of the orange juice. I remember that my father and I talked for some time before he helped me down from the counter and walked away with me to head upstairs. I no longer felt ill.
This memory is one of the sweetest of my childhood. Two years ago as I recounted memories with my father, he told me he had no recollection of this event. The cupboards were on the wrong sides of the sink in my memory. What I remembered, as vivid and spiritually and emotionally fortifying as it was, had been a dream.
As the conversation with my father continued, I learned that my mother and sister and I had not actually experienced that head-on collision heading up Carter Street. In fact, we had never owned that station wagon, and we had never driven on the wrong side of the road.
As disappointing as this conversation was turning out to be, I realized that the family connections these dreams forged in my heart were real. Even if the event was not. My long-held belief was proven false, yes. But the dreams solidified my beliefs: Dad is sometimes led by God; I can be too; Mom and Becky are important to me. Those are things worth holding on to.
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