When I was in middle school, and at the bottom of my driveway, T.L. Lay taught me the difference between acute and obtuse angles; he was my principal but also my next-door neighbor. I recall, also, that he taught me a lesson on the parts of speech. My English teacher was even more aggravated with the class than usual, and, as principal, T.L. took over the class. He drew a box on the chalkboard and started writing words like: on, under, beside, etc., all over and around the box. "There you go," he said, "These words are prepositions." I never forgot.
When we were kids, T.L. took my brother and me to the swimming hole when it was hot, and--since I've been an adult--T.L.'s gone raccoon hunting with my dad and me. I don't see him as often as I'd like, but he's this permanent fixture in my life: my teacher, a friend of my entire family, and someone who always looks at me (in the most literal sense, out of his laughing eyes) as if he believes in me.
Last night, I dreamed that I was sitting in a canvas chair on a summer evening. T.L. walked out of a revival/reunion tent and said: "Brandee, come here." Immediately, I stood and walked toward him, and--when I reached him--I realized that he was seven feet tall. I looked up at him and said, "If only I could respond so quickly when God calls me," and T.L. chuckled.
I've been thinking about this dream all morning. What does it mean?
The dream could mean a million things. But this is my favorite guess: it's about my relationship with God. In my dream, I didn't respond to T.L. because he was big; I didn't even realize that he was seven feet tall until I reached him. I responded to T.L. because I love him, because he loves me, because I trust him, because I know he has things to teach me. Similarly, I respond to God not so much because He is big, but because I love Him, because He loves me, because I trust Him, because I know He has things to teach me.
I was saved when I was a child, but--for the longest time--my relationship with God was limited because I thought of Him mostly as being "God who separated the Red Sea," not "God who really believes in me and cares about every aspect of my life." Thankfully, over the past few years, I have come to better understand God's character, and this understanding has changed my reality.
My hope is that--when it comes time for me to meet God face to face--we will greet one another as old friends. I want to find God not an imposing and intimidating, scarcely-known King, but the kind-hearted Father who revealed Himself in the smallest details of my life. God and I are on a fresh journey, and it began when I started to really seek Him. He wasn't that hard to find; He didn't hide or make Himself scarce. The more I look, the more I see. The more I listen, the more I hear.