Saturday, February 19, 2005

Dreaming of Tornadoes

This morning I dreamt I was walking through a very narrow airport hanger with a high sheet metal ceiling and tall, thin, truss supports. The sides were mostly open and as I walked along with your typical airport crowd I sensed danger around me. As I looked through the open walls I noticed several tornadoes surrounding the building.

Some were white and some were dark grey and they all danced around the airport spreading panic amidst the patrons. I ran and grabbed ahold of a truss and ducked down in an attempt to hide. Clinging for my life, I painfully watched as others were literally sucked out, vacuumed out of the building by a force far stronger than man.

It was then that I awoke. Immediately, and I mean instantly upon waking, the thought raced through my mind that the Airport Hanger is the Church and the Tornadoes are the Holy Spirit pulling people out of the protection and safety they find there and into their place of ministry in the community.

Seeing the dream in this light I have only one question of myself... why did I cling so tight to the structure of the Church?

6 comments:

KEITH GILES said...

Kent,

Wow. Powerful dream.

God has given me a few dreams like this in the recent past too. It's very sobering stuff.

You should write an article about this...or maybe I will?

I'll be hanging around here to see what new stuff you post.

Peace,
Keith Giles

The Brothers Williamson said...

It's been three days since this dream, but it's still haunting me in a strange way.

On Saturday afternoon (7 hours or so after the dream), I sat with my friend Garry on a grass hill overlooking a schoolyard baseball field. (A side note... Garry and I took a trip to China in April 2004. It was on this trip that I began sensing the need to move beyond the walls of the Church).

We sat in the sunshine as our kids played basketball on a nearby court and I shared my dream with Garry. He was quite impressed with tornado imagry and the interpretaion of it all, but what impressed me the most was what happened AFTER I told him the dream.

As Garry and I discussed the meaning of the dream I looked out across the baseball field as a dust devil blew into shape and danced its way across the infield. Once it passed into the grass between second and third it dissappeared.

Now what's interesting to me about this is that I live in Virginia and since I moved here from Texas in 1993 I think this is the first dust devil I've seen out here. I grew up with them all the time in deserts of El Paso, but it was shocking to see, especially after the tornado imagry from the dream.

It was a confirmation to me of the Holy Spirit being the one to pull people out of the Church and into their place of ministry. I'm convinced this will be one of the moments I will someday tell my grand-children about as a testimony.

Keith Giles said...

Kent,

God is working through you and it's an amazing thing to see bro.

Love ya,

Keith
http://subversive1.blogspot.com

Eric Williamson said...

Kent,

I love the imagery, but the more I thought about this, the more I think you're asking the wrong question. Instead of asking why we cling so tightly to the church's structure, perhaps we should be asking why we're so afraid to fly. It seems that while we recognize, cognitively, the power of a sovereign God, our gut-level brainstems are terrified of the potential for pain, discomfort, and humiliation. It's natural to cling to something we perceive as solid when danger looms, isn't it? If so, then I have to wonder, how do we learn to trust? Perhaps the answer lies within this dream as well, for you saw the Holy Spirit's work (in the form of the tornadoes) as threatening rather than liberating. It's not until we can see that being freed by the Holy Spirit is a good thing that we will begin to accept, rather than fear, His work in our lives.

Peter cried out for Christ to "help his unbelief" as he sank into the waves, but at least he got out of the boat. It seems to me that the only way we can gather the courage to let go of the structure and learn to fly is to first learn how to keep our eyes on Christ. Then we can learn to cast off our self-imposed tiedowns and accept the fact that the calling of God may be turbulent, it may be bumpy, it may even be dangerous; but it's still preferable to never getting out of the hangar!

Eric (another) Williamson

Ronald Goetz said...

There are many reasons for clinging to the structure, the shell, of Christendom.

The problem is that usually there is no tornado threatening to tear us away from the airport.

In our life experience, it's a matter of walking away. Maybe calmly, maybe not, but we have to take the first step.

Many of us have started that trek away from Christendom. Every insight we have into our situation, every dream that illuminates our issues, every action we take to ween ourselves from that sick milk--Each step we take away from Christendom is precisely that, a step away from Christendom.

It is not rebellion, it is obedience. "Come out of her, My People."

What do we need, an engraved invitation? Well, we have one.

Remember, we are not leaving the Church. But we are leaving.

Ronald Goetz said...

Kent, I was struck by the fact a person could either leave via an airplane or via the tornado. They share air travel in common, but I think the similarities stop there.

One takes you to a carefully selected, known destination. The other takes you to an unknown destination.

One feels predictable and safe. The other is unpredictable and feels unsafe.

One is conceived of and controlled by human beings. The other is conceived of and controlled by God.

One take you where you choose. The other takes you where God chooses.

One is costly, highly complicated, and difficult to emulate. The other is cheap, simple, and easy to copy.

Very cool dream. There's a lot embedded there.