Dream Bridge Ahead

Dreams and Bridges

I better be careful what I ask for.  Yesterday during our staff meeting we read Matthew 1:18-25, where Joseph is instructed by an angel in a dream to take the pregnant Mary as his wife.   I commented that in our culture, dreams are rarely considered as means by which God speaks to us.  So what did I experience last night?  I awaken from a vivid dream, wondering what it means. 

After last night’s stewardship meeting in which we discussed the progress of our “Crossing the Bridge” emphasis, I dreamed that I was crossing a large bridge in my car.  It resembled the large interstate bridge that cross the Mississippi River near Rock Island, IL.   I crossed it often in recent years, taking my daughter to college in Galesburg, IL.   In my dream as I crossed the bridge, it dipped below the water line, but strong glass barriers kept the water off the road way.  A bear and a wolf were crossing the bridge as well.  As I neared the far west side of the bridge, I noticed that vehicles were turning around and heading back.  I slowed as I neared the end.

A young teenager signaled for me to stop.  He told me that the road ahead was blocked and that I would need to wait or turn back.  I decided to wait.  I got out of my car, which then became my bicycle.  I leaned it against the wall and went to explore on foot.  As I walked up the road straight ahead, I could see it was blocked by a grand piano, lying on its side.  I looked for other routes.  There was a small path to the left, but it seemed to small for my car (or bike?).  However, there was also a major road to the right and that seemed to be the way to go, but a crowd blocking the exit from the bridge had not yet moved out of the way.

Needless to say, I have been playing/wrestling with this dream all morning.  Various interpretations leap into my mind.  Certainly part of it is my desire to push ahead quickly with the mission and ministry of Resurrection.  I don’t want anything to block our way!  Yet I discern the need to be patient, to explore the road ahead.  The obvious way may be blocked for the moment, but a new way will be found.  Psalm 16:11 You show me the path of life.

Has a dream ever played a role in your journey with God? 

Or do you have a different interpretation of my dream?

2 thoughts on “Dream Bridge Ahead

  1. Skeller

    Disclaimer: I just watched Inception again and I’m reading through Neil Gaimen’s Sandman comics again, both of which are entirely about the idea and synthesis of dreams (The physical embodiment of Dream, is in fact, the main character of the latter) So.

    The power of dreams is not, inherently, within the dreams themselves. Two nights ago I had a dream about keep physic ginger kittens in my blue coat while fighting plant poisoners on Mars (which was also our basement). This dream means nothing, except for maybe that my brain just wanted to stare at some sleeping kittens for awhile, and maybe I’ve been watching too many Doom 3 Let’s Plays on YouTube (this is true. I have.)


    Humans only remember a bare fraction of thing we dream-our long term memory is not engaged (nor is our efferent nervous system, which is why we don’t move when we sleep), while dreaming, so when we wake up we have the things we’ve gripped onto, and as time goes by we lose everything except the details we continued to think about once awake, those tiny little figments of nonsensical narrative that struck a bell. The things we remember are the parts that matters, and the key is not to wonder why we dreamed them, but why were remember *those parts*. What mattered about *that* that we’re still hanging onto it?

    Who knows, exactly, why we dream. Possibly it’s because our brains are just addicted to stimuli (if you cover your eyes with pingpong balls to block out all the light, and listen to a white noise machines, and don’t move, within an hour you start to have vivid, colorful hallucinations. Our brains don’t know what to do with a complete vacuum of sensory information. It’s not how we were designed. We were built to explore, to wonder and to imbibe) . Who knows why sometimes I have dreams about failing at my job, despite that fact that a.) I honestly don’t care and b.) it is the easiest job in the world, and sometimes I have dreams of being flayed alive, and something I have dreams of telekinetic Mars kittens, and quite a lot of the time I have dreams about my childhood best friends, and who knows why I can still clearly remember dreams I had when I was seven, or ten, or twelve, or four.

    It’s not the dreaming, necessarily, that matters. It’s the moment we wake up and filter through the dreams and connect them to the rest of our lives that matter. And we, as a race, do love symbolism. We love prescribing meaning to things: we say “this animal means this” and “this color means that” and make entire landscapes out of tiny, little stones. And this is wonderful, of course this is wonderful, how could this be anything but wonderful? You can put an apple in a painting and all of a sudden it means everything: it means fruit, it means sin (even though I like the idea of pomegranate more, personally), it means choice, it means poison, it means health, it means death, it is lush, it is shiny, it is desirable, it is had, it is lost. One apple. One painting. Enough meanings to cover the world.

    A bridge is cross a divide, a bridge is out and the way is impassable, a bridge is up to make way for ships. A bridge stands firm, a bridge collapses, a bridge is made, a bridge is treacherous, a bridge links one individual object to another (lands, people, stanzas), a bridge protects us from troubled water, a bridge has a toll, a bridge is the only way, a bridge is an artifice, a bridge is neither a way in nor a way out, a bridge’s sole job is to connect, a bridge could lead anywhere. You must cross the bridge, no matter how rickety, no matter how sharp, no matter how thin, you must cross the bridge. Monsters live under bridges. They want to eat our goats. They want to take our money. There are stairways and escalators and elevators and angels and gates to heaven, but there are no bridges. It’s never about the bridge, it is always about what is below it, or across it. It is never, ever about the bridge. T

    It not about which dream interpretations is right. It’s about what you think about on your way there.

    1. Pastor John Keller Post author

      The art is certainly in the interpretation. I just wonder how vivid, how distinct was Joseph’s dream regarding Mary. I think sometimes we read scripture as if it is from another world, when in fact, their life (including dreams) must have similarities to ours. So I think Joseph’s dream was not a simple telegram from God saying, “marry Mary!” but rather a dream that required faith to apprehend.


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