If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Are You?

On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? (Romans 9:20)


Last night I dreamed a dream so real it startled me awake. I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I saw myself waiting at a traffic light on a street I didn’t recognize. Through the open window I heard strangers on the corner call to each other: “Roger is dead.”

Somehow I knew who they were talking about, and the news stunned me. I couldn’t believe it.

I wouldn’t believe it.

I pushed the gas pedal and raced toward the funeral home. In moments I burst into the viewing room and stood by my friend's open casket.

He was lying on his left side, curled almost in a fetal position. And the blood. It was everywhere. On his chest. At the bottom of the casket. It covered his abdomen. His hands. His clothing.

I fell across him and wept – a deep, visceral sobbing.

I rarely have dreams in which I weep.

“Roger!” I shouted. “What are you doing here? What happened?”

My groans knew no balm as I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and pressed him to myself.

Then, in the corner of my eye I saw a man beside me. Late thirties. Five-ten, or so. Clean-shaved. Light colored short-sleeved shirt. Dark, thick hair.

I knew it was Jesus.

I stood and turned to Him, “You can’t let him die!”

It was not a request. It was an order.

“You just can’t.”

I didn’t try to choke down my grief.

“You can’t.”

Jesus looked into my eyes. I can still see his gaze hours later as I write this. His expression unmistakable. It said: “Who are you to tell Me what to do?”

And then, as suddenly as His expression rebuked, it softened. And again, without a word His eyes said:

“Trust Me.”

Then I awakened. The image of my friend and the coffin stayed with me. But so, too, did the Lord’s words.

When I realized I had only dreamed it, I prayed a while for Roger. And then I sought to understand if the dream might mean something more. Perhaps a message for me.

After a time, I concluded: In the grip of even the deepest tragedy, or grief, despair, or heartache, Jesus always asks: “Who are you to tell Me what to do?”

And then He says:

“Trust Me.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an incredible dream! Thank you for sharing its powerful message.

Anonymous said...

Great story, tremendous message.

Patricia said...

Richard, thank you for sharing such an amazing dream. I would tend to agree that God was speaking to you through this powerful dream which impacted you so deeply.

I am rather surprised that Jesus would "rebuke" you in any way as you grieved over the horrific discovery of your dead friend. His heart is so tender, and He Himself wept when Lazarus died. "See how He loved him..."

As an aside, isn't it ironic how we are all longing to be with our Beloved Lord in that complete union of LOVE which can only be experienced after death, but almost none of us (myself included!) are in a hurry to get there. Hmmm...

Richard Maffeo said...

Of course, His rebuke was only in my dream. I certainly do not claim it as a "vision" ;)

On the other hand, though, after the rebuke, His expression did change, and the thought, "Trust Me" broke into my mind. I think the entire scene is reasonable. After all, He is God. Who are we to give Him commands, as I had done in my dream.

As for longing to be with Him, but not hurrying to die to get there . . . yup. I will wait my turn with patience ;)