Snakebite

dream_by_amosb
Photo Credit: Yasin Kose

I dreamt about snakes again.

Slipping in and out of consciousness, kicking off blankets, sweating in the dry heat of my bedroom–my soul fights for rest.

Snake dreams happen when I’m warring with Satan. Usually there are handfuls of little ones, the length of my hand, sometimes as long as my forearm, sneaking, coiling, striking, retreating.

They bite again and again, and I cannot wake up.

In my waking hours, he brings this snake to my ear: You are left behind.

You need to do more, progress. 

You need to dream bigger. 

You need to go deeper.

My heart takes the bait and reinterprets: I haven’t been pursuing all of my friends–what if they stop pursuing me?…It’s time to start thinking about moving out, I don’t want to miss out on that experience…maybe I will travel somewhere this spring and find adventure…I should work on my book, look for places to publish smaller pieces…I need to pursue God or my spirituality won’t maintain…

And just like that, I’m choking on the hook.

The snakebite is quick, almost unnoticeable. Its venom shocks instantly, paralyzing faculties, but the poison spreads slowly, drawing out the suffering. I would’ve succumbed to the wound, had my Father not protected me.

He kills me, so the snakebite will not.

Sucking his breath from my words, the offering of my understanding becomes dust.
Stilting the vitality of my inspiration, anything I create becomes counterfeit.
Standing in the way of my feet, my plans become obstacles.
My relationships threaten fruitless, my spirituality proves useless.

You have no life apart from me. 

I curl up on my bed and let him, one by one, strip away the attempts to take his life and birth a better life.

It leaves me naked with nothing to offer and nowhere to go. 

Surely, surely this is the place where my fears become real–I am left behind, for who would stay with someone so obviously needy?

Surely, surely this is the place I become one hundred percent dependent on him for my breath, my movement, my being–for only with such vulnerability am I able to approach the Father’s heart, and upon approach, such vulnerability is the only guaranteed receipt.

Is it enough?

Surely this is the only truly safe place, for he has promised not to leave me as an orphan.

In my dream last night, the snakes attacked again, dropping on me from jungle trees.

For the first time, I seized them by their necks and put them back in their place.

 

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