But being warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they returned home by another way. – Matthew 2:12 (adapted)
It is Epiphany, the dreaming season. God sent the Wise Ones a dream that saved more than one life.
For decades I have had a recurring dream that is a little less on the nose but feels just as divinely sent. In the dream, I live in a giant, stately parsonage with amazing architecture. I walk through room after room, each one bigger and more interesting than the last … except that they are all piled high with other people’s stuff.
My inner Marie Kondo kicks in. I’m in a beautiful space, but I can’t relax until I have wrestled some kind of order from the chaos. I sort, winnow, toss out and repair, but every room I put to rights leads to three more that are piled high. There is no rest.
You don’t have to be Carl Jung to guess what the dream means: I feel overwhelmed by other people’s mental and emotional “stuff,” and can’t get away from all that weighs them down, even in the sanctity of this space that is supposed to be my home.
Then again, Jung thinks that everyone in our dreams is a representation of ourselves. Is it my own stuff I can’t get away from? I feel owned, and exhausted.
It has never occurred to me, dreaming this dream, that I can simply open the door and walk away. Go outside into the untidy glory of nature where there is nothing to tend or manage, and simply be. Notice. Revel. Delight. Lie down in green pastures. Be led beside still waters. Be home, another way.
Holy Home, open the door. Nudge me from behind. May I give myself permission to walk away from all the stuff that clamors and controls, before it is the death of me. Amen.