I had a dream where I was watching a beautiful and very rare lizard. The lizard was smooth and soft and iridescent. Its skin reflected metallic, gemy, hues. Bright purples, deep emerald greens, reds, blues, oranges, umbers…it was just breath-taking. I was completely enthralled with this lizard, but I got too close and startled it. The lizard scurried away, fast as a salamander, leaving behind an egg that she was warming in a pouch in her mouth. When she dropped in, the egg suffered a significant crack. I was so upset that something so beautiful would be killed by my carelessness, so I scooped it up in hopes that I could keep the egg warm with by body heat and perhaps the beautiful baby lizard inside could be mine. As I held the egg, it began to jolt and fracture even more. I was delighted! The baby inside was not dead! I could have actually routed catastrophe and saved the lizard. As the shell burst open, what emerged was the most repulsive reptile I had ever encountered. It this shiny, hard-shelled, black beast that resembled a mix between a cockroach and a scorpion. I was disgusted and leaped up to avoid the horror before it scurried across my toes. I would have been tempted to think it was chasing my to attack me, but something was clear in its behavior that I was the first being it had seen and I was “mama”. And it was going to go wherever I went. I decided in an instant that I wanted nothing to do with it and closed myself indoors and watched from a window. It quickly ran to a pile of shady rocks to shelter itself. I went away upset and shaken. But I kept seeing the thing dart to and fro, in and out and I could help but feel the slightest bit of guilt for the whole way the beast had come into the world alone, so I decided to put it in a box and figure out what to do with it. As I approached and attempted to herd it into the container, I put my hand out and the thing transformed into the ugliest cat I had ever seen. It looked mangy and was raven black with haphazard feather poking out. It looked like it was molting. I suppose this new creature was slightly more tolerable, but for context, I’m not really a cat person, so my excitement was not really overwhelming. Others were nice and came by and patted the cat, remarking on its pleasant disposition, but the thing was UGLY.
Suddenly the scene and story changed and I was with people in my dream from my past. The gist of the dream followed that there were people in my dream that I had attached myself to that had shown themselves to be of poor character and I was attempting to establish new relationships of better quality. But I felt bad because the old relationships were so desperate to hang on and were so bent on either taking over my life or making me miserable if i tried to leave. I had a choice to walk away or to stay, and I kept finding myself hinged in the middle: unable to walk away and inflict deep wounds, but still seeking after the new relationships. But in the end, the old relationships were so subversive to anything new in my life that they thwarted every interaction with the new crowd. They new attachments were kind and loving and understanding, for a while, but things became so trying and so difficult that they just gravitated towards other people who were able to maintain an easier interaction. I was so sad for the relationships that I had lost on behalf one such a selfish and destructive force. I found an even greater distaste for the old crowd than I had ever had. I finally found enough in me to just leave behind the embittered crowd, but I was so sad that I couldn’t have found the gumption to have done it before it had cost me so much.
I guess the explanation of why this qualifies as something God is teaching me right now is this…
everything God created is good, but when we take control of it and try to own and manage something that was never truly ours to begin with we turn it into something ugly. When something we have so yearned for turns out to be so disappointing, as all idols are, we can not only despise it, but be afraid of it. Even when we have a bit clearer perspective, we can still have flaws in our understanding. Ignoring the good that God has ordained in something and clinging only to the bad that we have twisted it into is still not correct. Often when we have taken something that was meant for good and twisted it, it can become this fragile thing that is still grotesque and in need of nurture, not total disposal. You can go from from trying to something wrongly, and messing it up, to wanting nothing to do with it, to obligatorily tending to the pathetic remnants. But the only true healing is when we just give the thing back to God and stop trying to either turn it into what we want it to be or punting it as far out of our lives as we can.