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Archive for the ‘Nightmares’ Category

I hesitated to name this post as I did. I could just hear my Atheist friends saying, “Ah, that explains it,” but they need to read on. I have intended all along to write about some private experiences. That’s one of the reasons for an anonymous blog. Very few people who know me, know that I have this blog. That way I feel free to write about something personal without fear of hurting, or embarrassing someone. Most people don’t like to talk about private matters. That’s probably one of the reasons that life’s mistakes keep repeating themselves, but more about that some other time.

Mom was one of those people who remember everything, from all the birthdays, to the dates that people died. She knew that I wasn’t good at that sort of thing. She may have worked something out with the Lord to leave this world on a date I would remember. Since then I’ve thought of the 4th of July weekend as truly being Independence Day for her. I thought of it this year as I watched the fireworks display. It was a strange kind of feeling. Because of her love for people, Mom had a hard time saying no, and that lead to a lot of pain for her. She was a Christian, and now she is free from the oxygen tanks, and hardships brought upon her by other people. In my teens, I was one of those people, not that she ever stopped worrying about us.

I don’t know if my youth would have been different if she had taken a stronger stand as a Christian. Mom may have been restrained by her fear of offending us. There were other reasons also. I think my sisters and younger brother were more aware than I of what she believed. I went to church only a few times growing up, but they went more often. I think Mom would like to have gone to church, but Dad was against it. More about that some other time also. I was brainwashed by evolutionary propaganda very early in life, and wouldn’t have been able to see how anyone could believe anything else.

That’s one of the primary reasons I became disillusioned with life, and began using drugs at an early age. One thing I always knew though, was that Mom loved me. That didn’t keep me from taking the wrong road, but it helped me to turn around at a critical time. A friend of mine down the road gave me my first marijuana. I didn’t experience anything the first few times I smoked it, which isn’t that unusual. Later on, some of the pot we sometimes smoked caused hallucinations. We wondered if it was treated with some chemical or something, but we smoked it anyway.

Not everyone believes it, but marijuana alone can cause hallucinations, especially if it has high levels of THC. I was prone to see traffic signs that weren’t really there. I remember thinking that the driver was taking us up an exit ramp in the wrong direction. I plainly saw a Do Not Enter sign. This sort of thing happened multiple times. Our driver ran us into a ditch one night because he thought he saw the road curving to the right. Dangerous stuff, but it was mixing pills and alcohol that nearly cost me my life.

It may have been my idea to hitchhike to Detroit. Hitchhiking was a little safer back then, and you could survive in the cities working day-labor jobs if you wanted to. The year before, we had hitchhiked to Florida. That had been the idea of my friend (the one who gave me the marijuana). We thought we might stumble upon a decent job in Detroit. We worked some tough jobs through the weeks, and then forgot everything on the weekends.

I think we picked up some pills at a Rock concert. I took a couple along with three or four beers the next night or so. It wasn’t anything that I hadn’t done before. I didn’t know at the time that barbiturates can cause hallucinations, but I knew that too many can kill you. I learned later that I have sleep apnea, and I probably had it to a lesser degree even then. Sleep apnea, with the combined effects of alcohol and pills, could account for the reaction that I had. I just kind of drifted out, and I really think I would have died, if I had not experienced a terrible hallucination.

In my drugged state, I thought I was dying (which I probably was), and I saw the Devil standing over me laughing. At that moment, I realized clearly that I had been terribly deceived, and I don’t really know why I thought that Jesus might help me. It seemed to take all my strength to finally stutter the name of Jesus. When I did, I immediately became conscious, and my friend was standing there saying, “What’s the matter with you man? I thought you were dying.”

It’s strange that I remember the hallucination better than the events after I came out of it. I know I told him that I thought that I was dying, and that I saw the Devil. I think I said, “He was standing right where you are,” and I asked if he didn’t see him. I know that I saw a real look of fear in his eyes, when I said whatever I said. I was afraid to lay down again that night. I put on a coat, and walked up and down the street until dawn. Apparently, I had enough sense to not venture far from the apartment complex. We lived in a dangerous area.

My friend wanted to stay in Detroit longer, but I was going home, even if I had to hitch alone. I felt like I had worried Mom more than enough, and I didn’t want to add my death to the trouble she already had. Except for legitimate medicine, I stopped taking drugs after that, but I didn’t become a Christian for another six years. I took the idea of God more seriously though, and I asked a lot of questions. I was an atheist so, why did I call for Jesus? Why did the name of Jesus break the spell of the alcohol and pills?

I don’t believe that I actually saw the Devil in person. I believe instead that God allowed me to have an hallucination that would shock me back to this level of consciousness. What I saw was the image of Satan that my mind would have conjured up at that time. It wasn’t “an angel of light,” as 2nd Corinthians 11:14 describes Satan. What I saw was more real than real. In the hallucination, I saw the hatred in Satan’s eyes, as he laughed at me. I can’t describe how clearly I realized my stupidity. I know that Satan was mocking me. That is real. He mocks all of us. I absolutely believe that Jesus intervened for me in that situation. I wouldn’t advise anyone to push it that far though.

I don’t know if my friend would have called for help. It would probably have been too late, and would have attracted the attention of the police. He was caught by surprise. He may actually have been standing over me laughing at first. In my mind, Satan’s image may have been superimposed over his. Sometimes hallucinations are like that. You may see something that’s actually there, but in the fragmented condition of your mind, reality is distorted, and you see it as something else.

You can always come up with an alternative explanation to fit some of the facts, but sometimes the best explanation is that things are just as they appear to be. It was Jesus that I called upon when I was in trouble. I was delivered out of that trouble, and it is Jesus that I thank.

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Hebrews 10:5, “…Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me,” is a quote from Psalm 40:6. This is yet another place where a New Testament writer quotes from the Septuagint. Psalm 40:6 reads a little different in our modern translations; but, this is one of many Old Testament passages foretelling the coming of Christ.

The Old Testament offerings and sacrifices weren’t what God desired; they symbolized what he was going to have to do to save us. Hebrews goes into some detail about these things that I’m going to skip. I want to mention one of the sacrifices that draws our attention to the “Door.” Passover occurred when God freed the Israelites from the Egyptians. Moses had repeatedly given God’s message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go,” but his answer was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice…” (Exodus 5:2) God told Moses beforehand that Egypt wouldn’t yield until they knew who God was.

If only he had yielded to God, Pharaoh could have prevented the destruction of Egypt. Some believe God gave him no choice, but I disagree. I can see it would have been politically difficult to let all that free labor go. Many times, the right choice isn’t easy, and we miss the opportunity.  I think Pharaoh could have stopped the loss of their crops, and all the suffering that fell on his people. The firstborn of Egypt would not have died, and his army wouldn’t have been destroyed in the Red Sea.

I suppose everyone knows that Jesus was killed the evening just before the Passover observance. That’s why they hurried to take him down from the cross, and buried him so quickly. In Exodus 12:1-14, God told Moses how a lamb was to be killed in the evening. The seventh verse of that chapter tells how they were to “strike” the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts of their homes. These posts, upon which the door was hung, symbolize the cross. The door itself represents Jesus. The only safe place in Egypt that night, was inside a doorway where the blood of the lamb was splattered.

Dreams are very different from a movie. When you’re in a dream, you usually don’t realize that you’re dreaming. You feel like it’s real. One night, I dreamed that my wife and I were at the crucifixion. It seemed like there were other people all around me, but I didn’t actually see them. We were standing in the air about seventy-five  yards from Jesus. It hurt so much to be there, that I couldn’t go any closer. There were two groups of people near Jesus, his family and friends suffering in empathy and his tormentors.

It was a dream of very mixed emotions. I really hated the world at that moment, and I hated myself, yet I knew he was there because he loved us. I knew his suffering was my fault, and our fault. I hated the helplessness that I felt at being able to do absolutely nothing. In my dream, I knew that he was to be resurrected in three days, but that didn’t seem to help much at that moment.

God had to find a way to get through to this world. To save some of us, he made a body for himself, and became one of us. Nailed to a wooden post, as if he were only a piece of wood, Jesus is the door between God and mankind.

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You are the door of your house. Whoever enters your house must do so at your bidding. If you realize that someone would be a danger to your household, they would have to overpower you to get in. Those entering your home would need to abide by your standards. That all makes sense doesn’t it?

Jesus is the door of his house. He said, ( John 10:9) “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”  When one of our sons was very small, he asked about this verse, so we played a little game. I think I put some little reward that he wanted in a room, so that he had to come by me to get it. I told him I was the door, and he tried to go around on one side and then the other. After a bit I held my arms out, he gave me a hug, and I let him in. To enter the house of the Lord is to embrace Jesus.

Before I accepted Jesus, I had several re-occurring nightmares. This particular dream was never troubling to begin with; I would be in an empty room with no windows, only a door in each wall. I would open one of the doors to go outside, but it would only lead to a room just like the one I left. No matter which door I opened, I would be in the same empty, dreary room. This dream would go on for what seemed like hours, becoming a nightmare. I would eventually be rushing through the doors as fast as I could, until I finally woke up.

I don’t look for meaning in every dream. Most of them seem to make little sense, but looking back, I can see that dream represented my search for truth and meaning in life. I had that dream dozens of times before I opened my heart to Jesus, but not a single time afterward. It was as if Jesus was the end of a quest. Not all nightmares have disappeared over the years, but every one has changed in some way. (More about dreams later)

I looked up the origin of “door” in the Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate. It  gives an Old English origin, “duru,” which is akin to Old High German “turi,” which sounds to me like “tree.” (Please ref. my post “Truth,” in the March Archive) Webster’s also mentions a connection to the Latin word “fores,” meaning outdoors.

If we want to escape the house of doors to nowhere, we must think outside the box. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ” Jesus will not only take us ‘outside’ but into a place that’s out of this world.

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