The sky was blue when I woke up. Well, it wasn’t. It was black, then became blue as the morning progressed past dawn. Until around eleven. Then clouds slowly filled the sky, eventually drowning the blue in a matte white. The fog started rolling in around four, and kept rolling in. It still rolls, now so thick it is difficult to see the other side of the driveway even with my light on. The trees drip with condensation, making it seem like it is raining.
I’m fascinated by fog. Or any kind of mist or smoke really. I’m not sure why. A couple of years ago I was cleaning a fountain pen in some water and the ink formed a cloud in the water. It struck me with wonder as the particles spiraled out in an amazing complexity. Now, I blow out a match or a candle and am struck by the same wonder. Or with fog I stare as it flows like an airborne tide. I’m amazed for a reason, only I don’t know the reason, except for the fact that it is one of those things which I know could really explain a great deal if I could only just grasp what it is saying. There is something in it all which touches on everything I’m doing, making me delight in it, hoping for an insight. Or maybe I’m simply supposed to appreciate the visualization of otherwise heady pneumatalogical analogies.
I’m also fascinated with people who dream. I don’t dream. At least nothing very interesting. The most interesting thing about my dreams is that my regular sense of deja vu comes not from feeling like I’ve been somewhere before, but that I’ve dreamed about what I’m doing… and sad to say it is about something mundane. I rarely remember my dreams, except for my very occasional nightmares, the number of which I can count on my fingers. I remember one when I was no more than three, maybe my earliest memory. It was black and white dream about a fire, or the aftermath of a fire in our apartment complex, which left the ground pockmarked with craters.
I had a nightmare in 1998 that I remember, during a time I was getting involved at a church which had a murky past. Something foul was afoot, and the spiritual realities were striking. I dreamed I was chased by a woman with wickedly long fingernails through town. When I was awake I felt strongly something wicked had me under its purview. It was a church with a murky past which did not want light to shine in the shadows.
But, other than these very occasional dreams, at points in which I think my discernment gift is in overdrive, I don’t dream. So people who do are fascinating because they have a gift which can speak beyond words. And, to be honest, we need such people to break through our rationalizations and hear what is going on in the artistic center of the Spiritual Life.
I say this because I chatted with someone who dreams recently and the conversation reminded me, again, about how essential we are to each other. The hierarchical models of the Church have pushed aside the realities of our interdepedence. They have created layers where there is supposed to be interpenetration and have substituted rules for perichoresis. All those ten dollar words to say that we need each other profoundly. This need isn’t like bartering or even like sick souls trying to become whole by banding together. The theological realities insist that we need each other in order to find a fullness of being beyond our own fullness. We need each other so we can together go beyond what we would just be as a collection of individuals. Through the Spirit the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
But getting to that point is tricky, so God plays around with grace. Some have dreams and see realities which are beyond their ken. But in themselves they see lack. So another comes along and encourages and exhorts, feeling a lack in themselves but not in the other. We are driven towards God through prayer and driven towards others, always being reminded that the spiritual person cannot be Spiritual without another.
That is the beauty of the Trinity which is reflected in our lives. The whole person becomes whole with others, creating a complex unity while still allowing for distinct diversity. It is beautiful to behold. But it is hard to let down our inner demand to be whole by ourselves. So, God teaches us, drives us, lets us feel the emptiness of a lack of the Spirit in us so that we resonate with the presence of the Spirit in another, making the whole spiritual life a complex dance of being which rises towards heaven into eternity.
All that to say, we need each other. And it is good. It is a delight. Especially, when the music begins to really play and others are around who delight in the choreography.