“My Cup Runneth Over” – C. Dianne Phillips
Everyone dreams, but when I dream and remember the dream, there is usually a message …I “believe” that God uses dreams at times to help us to achieve a higher level of understanding. Throughout the bible, God uses dreams to convey messages through his angels. I “believe” that the Holy Spirit connects to my subconscious through my dreams and brings me visions meant to bring clarity and understanding to experiences I am having in the real world. I gain “wisdom,” “strength,” “knowledge,” “understanding,”….God shares his grace with me as I sleep. What a profound gift? Some dreams are peaceful, serene, and some are disturbing, but each dream has a message for me and for others regarding our human experience and His grace presence in our lives. I am given great understanding of the many blessings in life and also the answers to why there is evil in life.
Why can’t we just love someone and transform them with our love?
Last night I had a dream and in this dream I met a young man (I don’t remember ever seeing him before). The young man was cutting and styling hair in a mall. He was very outgoing, very nice and very good at styling hair. I and another woman sat in the salon watching as he styled hair. All interactions were cordial and pleasant until the style was over and the client got up to leave the chair. At this time, the client handed the young man some cash and said thank you. The young man looked at the cash and his demeanor suddenly changed. He looked stunned, bothered ….and both the woman waiting and I began to feel an overwhelming sense of darkness and that something clearly was not right….things were off somehow.
The young man locked the door, turned to us (both of us were feeling very uncomfortable and wanted to leave) and pulled out a gun from his frock pocket. He said to us, with a very vacant look, “I’m afraid I am going to have to take your money and then I will have to shoot you.” We were stunned and of course very upset. We said ok and gladly handed him all the cash we had. He then purposefully, cocked the gun. The woman with me began to weep, “No….please…I don’t understand.” To which he didn’t respond. When he raised the gun to shoot her, I said, “Wait!, I have a few CD’s here and perhaps you would like to see them too before you shoot.” He seemed startled and a little confused. I handed him the bag and he began looking through the CD’s. He seemed dazed…not really expressing any feelings…then he found a “John Denver” album and began to laugh excitedly. “Oh…I can’t believe this…it is my favorite John Denver album! I want this one.” He had a smile on his face and he waved his gun to motion that the woman could leave.
He seemed very absorbed with the album and I had a polite friendly conversation with him about John Denver and how much I loved his music too. He looked up at me and had a surprised look, like he didn’t expect me to still be there. I felt compassion for him and confusion over his destructive behavior. Was there something I could do to help him? Part of me wanted to run, the other part of me was morbidly curious about this nice looking young man, who had so suddenly changed his demeanor. Why did the client’s payment affect him in such a drastic way? Was he mentally ill? Was he a sociopath? In either case, was he going to shoot me if I suggested leaving? I was not sure what to do or what to think.
I reached into my bag and began pulling out other CD’s and asking him if he wanted them. He said no, he just wanted the John Denver one. He then motioned that I should follow him and we climbed a set of stairs that led to the roof.
Once on the roof, we walked across the roof to an area where a ladder led down from the roof to another roof. He began down the ladder and stopped. I looked into his eyes and they were vacant. Usually, I can see so much about how a person feels and what they are thinking by simply looking into their eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul and this person did not seem to have a soul! Suddenly, I felt terrified. He took hold of my forearm and began pulling me. I pulled back and said, “May I tell you something?” He paused to listen…looking at me with those vacant eyes. As I tried to find what it was I needed to say, I felt the joy of the Lord welling up inside of me. I remember thinking….I actually feel the Holy Spirit welling up within me.! It was intriguing, joyous….hard to articulate with words. To my extreme shock and his, I exclaimed softly and passionately…with great love and affection (not sexual)…”I love you.”
If the Love of God is so powerful, why didn’t it work?
To my surprise, there was little change in his vacant stare. The love of God that was welling up inside of me and spilling over to be shared with him was not enough to fill that vacant space within his soul. He looked at me long and hard and then released my arm and continued down the ladder into darkness. I did not follow.
Later in my dream, I was recounting my experience with Deacon John and others at the church. Everyone was shocked of course and wondered if I was ok. Deacon John then said, “Dianne that may have been the first time he ever heard that in his life…at least in a way that was truly loving and meaningful.” I then replied, “But why didn’t God’s love affect him? There was no real effect.” Deacon John then said, “Dianne, there was an effect. He released you and continued on without hurting you or anyone else. It’s not that God’s love wasn’t strong enough, it’s that the empty space within him was too vast to be filled with just the overflow from your heart.”
The man in my dream represents the people I interact with each day, who seem to lack any real compassion or caring for the dignity of others or for themselves. They lead a hollow, loveless existence because they do not have God in their lives. God’s love is freely flowing, generously given and available to everyone…including those who do not seek it or desire it. It is simply there. He was vacant and was barely affected by my sharing of God’s love with him because he was already so full of the darkness of the world. What I perceived as empty space was indeed a space filled with the darkness of worldly desires. God’s light must fill an empty vessel, one that is emptied of worldly wants and desires so that it can be filled with heavenly light and energy.
The blessing I received from the message is that I must share this love that is spilling over even in the face of hatred and despite my fear. I also saw that even the most hardened person could eventually be transformed by God’s love if they but have a small opening in that darkness.