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Dreams and Signs

My brother-in-law Donny spoke matter-of-factly as he described that night, in great detail, what he saw through sleepy eyes.  He had dozed off on the couch in the living room, and woke to the feeling that he was being watched.  This startled him, prompting him to suddenly open his eyes and lift his head.  He rubbed his neck from the awkward neck cramp and turned towards the hall to see his mom standing there, very much alive, looking down at him with a smile and shaking her head.  “It’s as if she was laughing at my having dozed off on the couch again,” he explained.  “She used to always think I was so funny – guess I should be glad that I can still entertain her!”  I feigned a laugh, but deep down I was so frustrated.  Regardless of whether or not he was really awake or simply dreamed this, I was so jealous.

When I was a child, I had colorful dreams, sometimes even screaming nightmares.  I remember my father rolling his eyes, calling me “a dreamer” with his heavy “Missoura drawl,”  and Mom agreed that I had a vivid imagination, as I would recount the adventures I had encountered the night before.  But I don’t dream much anymore, or if I do, I just don’t remember them – even tiny glimpses into what I had encountered in my slumber.  Oh, how I wished I could see some of my own loved ones.  A vision of some sort would be really cool, but I’d even settle for a dream encounter.

I’ve lost several of my favorite people recently: my dad 16 years ago in 1998, my mom in 2010, then my grade school best friend 2 years ago and my 19-year-old son 5 months later in 2012.

Last year, a friend who knew of these longings, told me that a famous psychic would be speaking just a few miles away.  Mark Anthony (his “professional” name) owns lots of credibility because he is also a licensed Florida attorney, is well-educated, well spoken, and, as you can imagine, quite charismatic.

I wrestled with the ethics of it all.  Christians are prohibited from “conjuring up” the dead (necromancy), and specifically consulting for advice or to predict the future.  The logic is that there’s no possible way to discern between your loved one, a good spirit, or an evil one.  The “evil one” is a master of disguises, and sure to lead us astray.

But it’s always easy to make an justify exception for yourself for basically anything.  First of all, according to Anthony, we’re not conjuring up anyone – the spirits, including our loved ones, are right there with us all the time – we just can’t see them.  But a psychic can, apparently.  Furthermore, I wasn’t looking for advice or predictions, I just want to know they’re ok.  Sounds good, right?

So, of course we were there in his audience.  What we didn’t know was that we really needed to get there early, sit in front by the aisle, and be the first to volunteer if he asked for one if we really wanted something for “free” .  The idea that he would pull us out of the crowd and describe Mom or Cullen, Mike or Ricky was perhaps unrealistic, even if it happens that way on TV.  Shar did pull my arm and tell me to stand up when he asked if anyone knew an elderly woman in a flowery yellow dress.  At this point I was back to my skeptical “Missoura show me” cynicism, so I simply rolled my eyes at the thought this might be my Mom.  But three others certainly thought it was theirs.

I did feel obliged to give him a “second chance” when we went up afterwards to have him sign one of the books he had authored (I had read it years ago).  I also wanted to ask him a question regarding something he had said during his talk.  Someone had asked him about feeling so important, being able to connect the living with their loved ones who had “crossed over.”  He replied with much humility, that he was just a regular person, that for some reason could pick up on the different “vibration frequencies” that these passed spirits have, much different from our own, since we’re still alive.  He said he had the same questions and doubts that everyone else has.  But this intrigued me; I was fascinated.

As my turn in the queue to Anthony’s table neared, he looked up, turned to me and kind-of gave me a funny look.  I wasn’t sure whether he saw “something” around me, or if he was just perturbed that so many wanted his signature.  Just as I was making sure that my “Camino with Cullenbracelet was hidden, and my Chinese tat of Cullen’s name was tucked under my sleeve, he greeted us and I proceeded to ask him my question.

“Mark, you mentioned having doubts, just like everyone else.  What the heck does that mean?  If I could see and communicate with the other side, I can’t imagine having any doubts.  As a matter of fact, I’d be on TV and the radio, proclaiming from the mountaintops what I had seen!”  Frankly I don’t remember his response, because before he answered he said something about knowing St. Francis of Assisi being important to me.  Now, I hadn’t told him my name yet, so there’s no way he could know I had once owned “Assisi Animal Hospital,” and since I wasn’t coming from work, I wasn’t wearing scrubs or any other tell-tale animal or vet adornments.  So I was in a bit of a WTF mode and I forgot everything else he said to me.  Bear in mind that this was also more than a year before our new Pope would take the name of Francis, so even if he had seen me at church or come other Catholic “marker,” he couldn’t even know this.

Whether or not dreams really mean anything, it would still be nice to talk to my son.  Or Mom.  Or Daddy.  Until then I just need to keep plodding forward on “Faith.”

“Because thou hast seen me thou hast believed: blessed they who have not seen and have believed.” JN 20:29

Guess having faith is what we’re supposed to do anyway.  So although I’d love some kind of a vision or apparition, I really gotta stop demanding one.  As I remember, Jesus got pretty upset when people were demanding “signs” so they could believe.

“The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him.  And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”  MK 8-11-12

I suppose the line forming for “people who have made Jesus upset” is another one I’d rather avoid when I leave here.

Much Love.

Holding the spirit

7 thoughts on “Dreams and Signs

  1. I was really interested in what you wrote and it put me in mind of something that happened to me after my brother died. He and I were very close and as we got older we seemed to get closer, comparing notes about our divorces and being alone. He had a wicked sense of humor and once he told me, “no matter how long I’m single I’m not ending my days sitting on the porch with my sister in matching rocking chairs.” Unfortunately he didn’t have to worry about that as he died suddenly and a bit mysteriously at 54.

    We had been discussing him coming to Australia to live. I was going to sponsor him and since our parents were dead we were technically orphans so I could do it. I had found him a job where I worked and it was all systems go. He was in an extremely bad, abusive marriage so he signed his business over to his two grown sons and was going to walk away from it all.

    The night he died I was sitting at my computer thinking how cool it would be to have my brother back in my life and him getting a new start here. The thought came into my head that it would never happen, he would never be here. A few hours later his youngest son called to say they had found my brother dead in the back yard with no real cause of death.

    A couple of days later I was at a friends where I’d been staying since his death and I was walking out the driveway to my car. I heard my brother laugh and I looked up and he stood there in front of me, that grin on his face that he had when he knew something I didn’t know. I stopped in my tracks and just stared at him. He said, “I got to Australia anyway.” He laughed again with real joy and he was gone. I just stood there shaking. I went to my car and got in and sat and cried.

    What was that about and why did it happen? I don’t know. I am a Christian, my brother was a Christian so I know we will see each other again. But right then I needed to see him. I couldn’t go to America to the funeral so he came to me. I felt better for seeing him. I don’t know but I’m guessing God allows those things to happen some times. I hadn’t asked for anything like that but I was in deep sorrow and I needed to see him and maybe he needed to see me. I had been here for over six years and he missed me as I did him. He was younger and always seemed to follow me when I moved. We laughed about it when I married an Aussie with plans to move here and he said Australia that was one place he wouldn’t follow me to, but in the end he was going to and in a way he did.

    Blessings and peace.

  2. A close friend, and my dad died exactly 400 days apart when I was just a kid. There’s a prayer in Hebrew, it’s for morning, the kind that happens as the sun comes up. It means to give thanks for the return of your soul. One of the first lessons we learn in Hebrew school is that your soul is like a little camera and every night it goes to heaven for G-d to review the film. So I asked the orthodox rabbi; if my loved ones are in heaven, and my “soul film” is reviewed each night, also in heaven, isn’t it reasonable to think we are all together each time I go to sleep. He stopped, frozen, in the middle of what he was doing. No one had ever asked that, and he’d never thought of it that way, but the logic was flawless. I’ve since presented my thoughts to many religious leaders, and none can find any contradiction. It’s simple, the first lesson I learned in school. It brings me so much peace though.

    Anyway, Jesus was a rabbi too.

    Good luck.

  3. Dr Bill, your words have been a powerful gift, and continuing revelation to me. May I suggest you explore some of Morton Kelsey’s work on dreams. I have vivid dreams and began to read his books in the late 1970’s. The statement (paraphrased very loosely here) that caught my attention was that we have ceased to expect God to speak to us through dreams. The vision or dream experience was accepted and expected for thousands of years. In the ummm… 30-some years since first reading those books, I have learned to remember my dreams, to explore “lucid dreaming”, and to make sense out of messages that may seem unfamiliar or strange at first.

    I have also participated in a dream workshop that was wonderful. That is probably a good idea after you find you are able to keep a dream journal. It is possible to will yourself back into the dream as you begin to awake, and while recognizing you are dreaming to notice details, people, feelings, and other elements of the dream to record in your dream journal.

    Dreamwork is a meditative, intentional discipline that improves with practice. It is revelation that is from God, in my experience. Your faith walk — literally — has prepared you well.

  4. Dear Dr. Klein, One day at 5;28 am my elderly dog was sleeping next to me. She was a quiet collie who rarely barked. She woke up and nudged me and barked and barked looking up at the ceiling, Her tail was wagging and she looked very happy. I wasn’t happy but I got up and got ready to go to work early. When I got to school our son was waiting for me and told me that my father had died and we had to go to my parents’ home. When we got there, the coroner was there and he had put the time of death at 5:28 am. Sugar (the dog) saw his spirit and recognized him. My Dad had come to say goodbye. The next year my mother died on the same day as my father not the same time. Being an only child I was so torn by losing both so close together so I asked God for a sign. I asked that if my parents were together and with Him, that He would make their picture off of the wall. I went to sleep fully excepting to see the picture on the floor but that didn’t happen. Later in the day I was just sitting in my recliner. I didn’t ask God for anything because I wasn’t talking to Him. I was angry. I feel asleep and in the dream I had I heard a voice saying “I already gave you a sign, think about it and you will know.” When I woke up I realized that there was something that was very different when Mother died. She never ever wore silver jewelry, she only wore gold and she slept in her jewelry, a small gold cross. But when we found her dead in her bed she was wearing a Large silver cross. I had talked about this with Bill but with all that we had to do, I forgot about it. The next day I went through her purse and sure enough she had bought that cross the day she died. The Spirit heard my spirit crying out for help and I finally got it. I, too try not to ask for signs for the reasons you said.
    God Bless you, Diana

  5. Compelling post, Dr. Bill. As a fellow Christian, I’d encourage you to embrace that simple desire to know & connect with those in spirit. There is no inherent evil in this, as it comes from a place of Love; it’s merely human nature striving to better know the divine.

    I have been (very rarely) ‘blessed’ with distinct visits from deceased loved ones, in ways most unintended. I do believe that it can be helpful. Trust that the opportunity will present itself IFF necessary.

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