A dream: 13.8.22.

Context: A few nights ago I had a vivid, strange and disturbing dream:

I saw a group of very young children who had just been separated from those whose task it was to take care of them. The children weren’t old enough to walk, so they were having to crawl along a rough, narrow, dirty street, moving away from their carers, and towards an unknown destination.

All of them were wailing. It was a heartbreaking sound. In his distress, perhaps blinded by tears, one little boy blundered head-first into a stone wall. He slumped to the ground, and I was shocked to hear him cry out, “They don’t love us any more”, in utter despair, hopelessness and desolation. After that he stopped moving. It was clear that he had given up the will to survive.

My heart went out to him. I jumped up and ran to him, putting my arms round his small body to comfort him. At that moment, I woke up with my arms clasped around my pillow. Instantly, even before I could begin to pray, several realisations struck me hard: 

What I realised

Everything I experienced during my childhood laid the foundations of my mental health during adult life.

This includes how I was treated by those who brought me up, as well as by those I was exposed to at school, in churches, clubs, hospitals and all other settings.

Thus, for good or ill, I have been influenced and affected by all the relationships and events I experienced during my formative years.

Comments

From my dream, and from the realisations which followed immediately afterwards, I understood even more clearly than before that the damage done to me in childhood caused the wounds and scars I have carried into adulthood.

These wounds shaped the person I have become, including all I feel, think, say and do. They affect how I behave, relate to others, cope with suffering, treat the world, understand God, and even whether or not I want to live. They also affected how I brought up my son, and how I reacted to having a miscarriage.

My dream showed me the mechanism by which so much of my psychological distress and mental illness has been caused. Only God can fully heal the inner damage I sustained, and the consequences with which I have had to live.

I am the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NLT).

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
(Psalm 147:3; NLT). 

Wherever I go

Context: After yesterday’s very concentrated writing effort, today I’m posting a much shorter blog I prepared a little while ago. At present, my energy for writing is in very short supply. However, since I started this website in 2013, I have always had some unpublished pieces set aside, ready to use during the periods when I can’t write. Here is one I’m glad to have the opportunity to share with you:

Be sure of this: I am with you always.
(Matthew 28:20; NLT).

Wherever I go, we go there together.
However I feel, we share it, as one.
Whenever I fail, we mourn it together,
For you never leave me,
My Saviour, God’s Son.

Whatever I lose, we face it together.
Wherever I am, you’re close by my side.
Whatever I bear, we bear it together,
For you never leave me,
Good Shepherd, my Guide.

Whatever you ask, we face it together.
Whatever you take, *I give with a smile.
Whenever I fear, I turn to you swiftly,
For you never leave me
Throughout every trial.

*Give whatever he takes, with a big smile.
(Mother Theresa).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
(Psalm 23:4; NLT).

Love

Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

May I treat all I feel with love,
With understanding, Lord, and care.

May I check all my thoughts with love,
Correcting them, through instant prayer.

May I speak every word with love,
Say sorry, when I get this wrong.

May I do everything with love,
And serve you gladly, all day long.

May I rejoice, and praise your name,
Commune with you, Lord, all the time.

May I accept both good and bad,
Until our spirits intertwine.

May I treat everyone with love,
No matter what they say, or do,

And trust our Father constantly –
Then I will be like you.

🖤

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).

 


 

Every breath


The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
(Romans 8:26; RSV).

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.
(Ephesians 6:18; NLT).

Let every breath
Become a prayer:
Feelings, thoughts, words, deeds –
The same.

Let every sigh
Become a prayer,
As we hold fast
To Jesus’ name.

Let every stress
Become a prayer:
Pain, sickness, sorrow,
Sins and fears.

Let every test
Become a prayer –
Because our Father
Always hears.

🖤

The angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’),
for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.”
(Genesis 16:11; NLT).

We are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14; NLT).


Your Little Way*

Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18; RSV).

1. Thank you, Lord,
For this new day.
Please guide me
On your Little Way,

2. Then I will feel, think,
Say, and do
Everything with love,
For you. 

3. No matter what
You give or take,
May I accept it
For your sake,

4. And strive to feel, think,
Say, and do
Everything with love –
Like you.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
(Galatians 5:6; NIV).

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.
(1 John 3:16; NLT).


References

1. The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life (Matthew 7:14; NASB).

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in the way of love (Ephesians 5:2; NIV).

2. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; NLT)

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2; NLT). 

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

3. Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done (Matthew 26:42; NIV).

4. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (1 John 4:17; NLT).

*As taught by Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux.

You always know

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
(Psalm 139:1; NIV). 

Whatever I say, Lord, when I pray,
You know the truth.

Whatever I do in privacy,
You know, for sure.

Whatever I think, Lord, every day,
You know the facts.

Whatever I feel, but don’t admit,
You know the score.

✝️

God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:20; NLT).

 


Like you

Live a life filled with love,
following the example of Christ
(Ephesians 5:2; NLT).

My Lord, my God, my Brother,
May I grow more like you,
By treating my emotions with acceptance,
And with care.

My Lord, my God, my Teacher,
May I grow more like you,
By mending each judgemental thought
Immediately, in prayer.

My Lord, my God, my Shepherd,
May I grow more like you,
By speaking kindly, making sure
That all I say is true.

My Lord, my God, my Saviour,
May I grow more like you,
By doing everything with love –
Then I’ll be more like you.

Do everything with love
(1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).


 

Nothing to give

Image: Ralf Siebeck, Pixabay


1. Lord,
I have nothing to give you –
Nothing to share
But my mind;
Nothing to pledge
But my feelings;
Nothing to offer
Mankind.

2. Lord,
I have nothing to give you –
Nothing to share
But my blood;
Nothing to pledge
But my spirit;
Nothing to offer
But love.

 


References

1. Human effort accomplishes nothing (John 6:63; NLT).

2. We have nothing left to give but our bodies (Genesis 47:18; NLT).

I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).

Give back

Image: Thanasis Papazacharias, Pixabay



Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s,
and to God what is God’s
(Luke 20:25; NIV).

1. I give my body back to you:
Lord, we are one in flesh and blood.

2. I give my thinking back to you:
Lord, may we share one humble mind.

3. I give my feelings back to you:
Lord, may we live as one, in love.

4. I give my spirit back to you:
Lord, may our joy be unconfined.

 


References

1. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14; NIV).

2. Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey (Zecharaiah 9:9; NLT).

Have […] a humble mind (1 Peter 3:8; RSV).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

3. Live in a way that pleases him, and love and serve him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 10:12; NLT).

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

4. The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Into your hands I commit my spirit (Psalm 31:5; NIV).

You have been united with Christ (Ephesians 2:13; NLT).

You will live in joy and peace (Isaiah 55:12; NLT).

May I care

Image: Makri27, Pixabay


1. May I care for others, Lord,
And also for myself,

2. Mindful of their thinking, Lord,
And also of my own;

3. Conscious of their feelings, Lord,
And mine, too, deep within –

4. Then I will speak the truth in love,
But, Lord, I will not sin.

 


References

1. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself (Proverbs 19:8; NLT).

2. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

3. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? (Psalm 42:5; NLT).

4. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:26; RSV).

I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say (Psalm 39:1; NLT).