Bear with me: this is a long post. But I think it’s important, at least to those of you who have been following my recent account of a prophetic dream.
I wrote recently about a dream in which I was trying to protect a little girl (a symbol for my novel) from a four-funnel tornado. I think I understand what most of that dream and the follow-up dream mean; in my previous post I was anticipating that the fourth funnel would correspond with an attack from a negative person.
I was going to see just such a negative person yesterday at the memorial service for my mentor David E. Davis, Jr., so I was ready for anything. Even so, I was surprised when events played out not in a show-down but in Scripture verses that both encouraged me and warned me that something was going on behind the scenes.
THE MEMORIAL SERVICE
During David E.’s memorial service, which was packed with his friends and a wonderful tribute to a man who lived his life with enormous passion and no regard for naysayers, they read Psalm 90, which deals with God’s wrath and mercy. I kept reading into Psalm 91 and found this:
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
That’s good. I could use some protection at this event, which promised to be a little dicey depending on which mix of folks showed up.
I then flipped to Isaiah 62:
… 2 The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,
7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.
8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain
as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
for which you have toiled;
9 but those who harvest it will eat it
and praise the LORD,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”
My name, Laura Katherine, means “crowned champion,” so I love this reference to being a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand. One of the things that has vexed me from the beginning in dealing with this person was that they benefited from my work and yet set themselves up against me as a roadblock in my career. Why should someone who carries on in the most morally and professionally offensive ways reap job security and honor and keep me from success? I have grown tired of people underestimating my abilities simply because I choose to stay home with my daughter, as well, and have been waiting for the day when the honor and success God promised me several years ago would become a reality. Well, it’s coming, but it sounds like it isn’t going to be pretty, doesn’t it? At least the first scripture gives me a clue as to how to deal with what’s coming: appeal to God and stand in integrity.
AFTER THE RECEPTION
I came home after the equally wonderful reception held at David E.’s office in Ypsilanti, which was catered by Zingerman’s and included suckling pig and sazoracs (“Freedom and whiskey!”) and good company. It was complicated, how I felt. I loved seeing old friends and colleagues and laughing over David’s best stories, but I didn’t want to leave his office where we had hung out so often. I didn’t want to let go of him and face the fact that I could never come back to see him or his beloved photos and stuffed pigs and posters in the same way ever again. I don’t want him to be gone.
I arrived back home and finally fell into bed, but before I could close my eyes, I distinctly heard God say to me, “I want to tell you something.” I felt like I needed to read Psalm 41 and then Isaiah 32, so I waited for my daughter to fall asleep on my chest and then downloaded a Bible app on to my iPhone.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned[b] against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, LORD;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
Well, that’s interesting, isn’t it? I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if this negative person were slandering me behind my back to David’s widow as we speak, or to anyone else who would listen, but a friend? The plot thickens.
1 “See, a king will reign in righteousness
and rulers will rule with justice.
2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The fearful heart will know and understand,
and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
5 No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For fools speak folly,
their hearts are bent on evil:
They practice ungodliness
and spread error concerning the LORD;
the hungry they leave empty
and from the thirsty they withhold water.
7 Scoundrels use wicked methods,
they make up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.
8 But the noble make noble plans,
and by noble deeds they stand.
9 You women who are so complacent,
rise up and listen to me;
you daughters who feel secure,
hear what I have to say!
10 In little more than a year
you who feel secure will tremble;
the grape harvest will fail,
and the harvest of fruit will not come.
11 Tremble, you complacent women;
shudder, you daughters who feel secure!
Strip off your fine clothes
and wrap yourselves in rags.
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines
13 and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.
14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Wow. I started out happy to read this chapter, which promises justice (finally!). But this is serious stuff. I’m not sure I wish this on my worst enemy. But it ends with God’s Spirit being poured out on the land (again, taking me back to the theme of my novel). Once again, it’s complicated. I need to chew on this for a while, but since several friends have asked for updates on how this dream is playing out, I thought I would share this development. My apologies if this makes no sense. You should probably call me directly for a coherent explanation if you know me well enough to care what I’m talking about.