Mother Teresa, dreams about flying and the Archangel of Bad Jokes

16 07 2007

      I was watching a movie about Mother Teresa last night.  It was incredibly moving.  She was healing and helping desperately poor people, loving them, feeding them, saving their lives.  I loved the movie, but I was also thinking, “God, what am I doing with my life?  Who am I helping?  Who am I witnessing to?”

      I sit at home cleaning, cooking, teaching, doing laundry.  Yes, I serve my husband and my kids, but in the face of the incredible suffering on earth, it seems entirely inadequate.  Oh yes, and I write.  Whose suffering have I relieved by writing humorous articles?  Hmmm.   I’m still thinking…
       My husband walked in the room and saw that I was sewing while watching the movie.  (How many poor people could I feed for the cost of our VCR?)  A little friend of ours is very interested in knights right now, and I am making him a suit of medaeval clothing for his birthday.  The cap is simple.  You cut a circle out about the size of a serving platter, gather it around the edge, and sew it to a flat strip that circles the child’s head.  Then you sew a few feathers at one side, and (hey presto!) you have a lovely medaeval cap.
      I love sewing costumes from that time period.  The clothes are all very simple to make.  They didn’t use complicated things like pockets, collars, or lapels.  No zippers, no button holes.  The clothes were designed to be sewed by hand by poor peasant women who were struggling to clothe a family of ten without a sewing machine.  I can make a full outfit in three or four hours on my serger.

      So Neal comes in and looks over my shoulder.  “What a cute cap,” he says, “you are such a talented woman.”
      Talented!  Yeah, I’m talented all right.  I can do anything useless.  I can’t make money, make my children behave, keep my house clean or balance my budget.  My car needs servicing, my bills need to be paid, and my kids are growing out of their clothes.  But if you need something frilly and useless done, I’m there!  I can sew costumes, write poetry, paint pictures (I’m working on an acrylic painting of a salamander for my son’s room right now), play piano, tickle babies, and tango.  I can act, bake a smashing birthday cake, make a hand-made cloth doll, and possibly write a novel.

      But what good does it do?  What can God do with an artist?  How can I feed the hungry, tend the sick, and preach the good news to the nations?  I could clothe the naked, I guess, as long as they’re interested in styles from about the 1100’s on.

      I look at my life and the sad truth is very clear: I have the wrong skill set.  I can’t do anything big for God.  I am a stereotypical rich American, frittering my life away on trifles and eating crème filled, chocolate iced donuts from Krispy Kreme while the rest of the world starves.
      You know, I had a dream last night.  It was another flying dream, which I have all the time.  I had so many flying dreams when I was a child that I really believed I could fly.  I tried it once, too.  (Sensibly, in case my aerodynamics didn’t kick in immediately, I started from the top of a stair well.)  Sometimes I fly alone, catching the air currents with my chest and arms and riding them up.  Or I fly with a swimming stroke, amazing anyone who is with me.  I can never fly very high.  I’m not completely free- but I can drift lazily, floating about twenty feet off the ground.  Other times, I use a piece of cardboard or something else like a kite under me.  It’s sort of like using a boogie board in the air.  I can catch the wind and surf on it.
      Anyhow, I was flying around in a department store doing various things.  I saw a lot of people I knew.  I did some shopping (my feet didn’t hurt at all!), and I took my things out to my car. 
      Now here’s where it gets really weird.  Whats-his-name Candy, you know, the famous comedian, was sitting in his car.  He beckoned me over.  I couldn’t believe he wanted to talk to me.  But he knew me!  He said he’d been reading my blog and it was really good stuff.  (Can I count it as a celebrity endorsement if it occurred in a dream?)  He said my writing was very funny, which, coming from him, was something of a compliment.  Then he pulled down his sunglasses and looked me in the eye.  “You are going to write some more, aren’t you?”  He was very serious.  I got the impression that if I didn’t say yes, he was going to have someone rough me up a little!  So of course I said yes.  Never anger a comedian.
        “Good,” he says, “you do that.”   And he put down his glasses and drove away.  Now, I believe that God does send us dreams with meaning, but I’m having trouble deciphering this one!  Unless Mr. Candy symbolizes an agent from God (The Archangel of Bad Jokes?) bearing a message about my writing… something like God saying, “Angela, I want you to keep writing.  With all the suffering in the world, sometimes I just need some comic relief.  And you’re it, baby.”
      Gee thanks, Lord.

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2 responses

19 07 2007
Neal

You have decorated a class room for children to learn about God in. You have brought the Lord’s message to children in an entertaining way that wouldn’t put anyone to sleep. You have prayed a seemingly infinite number of prayers for others needs. You have given money secretly where God asked you to and have come up short occasionally due to it. You have brought comfort and support to many with your spoken words (and I’d bet your written ones too). I suppose you are right, you’ve really done nothing.

Love,
The one who recieves the second most from you

21 07 2007
Matthew

A couple things I found interesting about your dream:

1. If you were flying in the department store, I wonder why you had a car.

I believe the way you carry yourself in your everyday and seemingly ineffective life is leaving more of an impact on those around you than you realize. If I could fly I would never use a car! The ability to fly is supernatural. It defies natural law. I think the Lord is encouraging you to set your incredible gifts free to fly outside of what may be comfortable. The fact that you’ve started blogging seems like a step outside of the norm for you. If you keep following this trail, you may just find a good bit of Mother Theresa in yourself.

2. Though John Candy is a comedian, he didn’t play that role in your dream. He was just the opposite – serious.

I feel that Candy actually represents God in your dream. I think the message is that though your gift is often humorous and lighthearted, the effect it has on others is serious. I also loved that he looked you in the eyes. Nothing shows sincerity quite like eye contact. I think it also shows the confidence God has in your gifts.

Side note 🙂
I believe specific names in dreams are quite intentional on God’s part. When I think “Candy,” I immediately think “Children.” That could either speak of the child-like trust I find so evident in your writing, or the obvious heart you have for children.

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