Monday, January 7, 2008

Confirming visions

A few years ago I was on a date at a coffee shop. It was our first time out together though we knew each other from a shelter where we both volunteered and I had gone to see him perform (he's a singer/songwriter). As we sat and talked and shared the many details of our pasts there came a moment when he started to unbutton his flannel shirt to show me the image on his t-shirt underneath. As he unbuttoned I had an odd sense akin to deja vu. But it wasn't deja vu since this was my first time out with this man and I had never been to the coffee shop where we met. I had seen that scene before, in a dream/vision.

At the time I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I understood it as a God thing and used it as a reason to "hang-in" with the relationship. Not that it wasn't worth hanging in for otherwise, just that I have a tendency of running, quickly, away from romantic relationships. So I didn't run, I waited to see what God might provide through this man. We dated for a few weeks and I learned what it was like to date someone normal and functional (without major issues). We broke up when our upcoming moves proved too much of an obstacle. Nothing more profound came of our relationship or from the vision. That was it.

Almost 8 months later as I sat in my senior pastor's office (half wondering why on earth I was at such a caustic church) I had a similar experience. I saw the scene I had had in a vision sometime earlier. While I didn't know why (or how), I knew I was where God wanted me to be.

I know there have been others (primarily because I remember having had a conversation about the meaning of such visions with a woman in 2005, pre coffeeshop date, when we were in the Middle East together...).

This weekend I had another. It's been over a year since there was one that stuck out in my mind, but as I preached to the group of young adults, I looked up and saw a repeated vision/scene (including persons I had never met before the weekend in a place I had never been to). I immediately looked to my Bible and it too was the same as from the vision. I was caught off-guard. While not new, it was unexpected. I was so stunned that I stopped preaching and shared the incident and the history of these visions in my life. I'm not sure why, it's not something I would normally do mid-sermon, but it felt important to say something about it. I do not know what God hoped to do with that confirmation or if things were fulfilled, or if it was simply so that I might know that I was where God would have me be.

Later that night the worship leader/musician with whom I worked at camp last summer and again this weekend came into the room and mentioned the visions and said he gets them too and that he interprets them similarly and that we should talk about them more sometime.

When I have them I don't generally know the place or the people, so it's not something I can consciously recreate or concoct. They just are what they are. I sometimes wonder if I need to tune in more so that I could do something more constructive with them, but for now, they simply serve as a confirmation of God's foresight and that I am where I am supposed to be.

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