At 5:30 this past Monday morning I awoke from a dream, not unusual. But this dream had a vivid moment. Similar to when the Lord has spoken to me through a dream in the past. I can still remember the words spoken; “She only has about a day and a half to live”. Where the action was taking place was not clear and the people where shadowy. I had a sense it was an older person from church. I remember saying a short nondescript prayer and wondered. My mind went to the church for which I had previously worked. It was a senior congregation where the average age is about 70. All that day I kept expecting to receive an email requesting prayer for someone who passed away. But it didn’t come. Dream set aside, I got on with my week.
I hear, but I don’t listen! Why does Holy Spirit (the very Spirit of God) even bother with me? I’m so angry at myself and I’m deeply saddened. For several days last week a friend’s name would come to mind, kind of out of nowhere. I made a mental note to give her a call. But I didn’t. At the beginning of this week her name once again popped into my head. I wrote her name on my list of calls to make. Monday, I looked at the list, and said “I’ll call tomorrow”, but I didn’t. Tuesday, I looked at the list and said, “I’ll call tomorrow”, but I didn’t.
I never connected the dots until today. A friend I’ve known for almost 18 years died unexpectedly. She didn’t attend the senior congregation she attended my church. I never even considered it might be someone from my church with whom I was close. When I received the call, notifying me of my friend’s death, my heart was devastated. Tears of sadness flowed and even sadder, deeper, tears fell due to my lack of action. We had the kind of relationship where months could pass and yet when we chatted it was as if time had stood still. I will never again have the opportunity to hear her voice or have one of our chats.
Holy Spirit gave me several nudges to call this particular person; but I didn’t. Perhaps if I would have prayed earnestly, asking for clarity, following the dream, the nudges would have become more demanding, but I didn’t.
How can I expect Holy Spirit to continue to work in my life, or to continue to speak to me when I don’t hear? Oh, I hear the words and I sense the nudges, but I respond as if I’m deaf. It wouldn’t be so terrible if this were the first time I’ve failed to respond. But, it’s not. You would think I would learn. But, evidently I don’t. My heart is hurting for the loss of my friend. My heart is breaking over my indifference to Holy Spirit’s leadings. My heart cries out, “How long Lord will you put up with me?” much as the Prophet did when he asked the Lord how long he would tolerate a perverse generation.
The Lord is ever gentle as he reminds me he will never forsake (give up on) me. He reminds me his forgiveness is never ending. Lessons learned don’t always come easy. Many come through trials of tears and failures.
I share hoping you will learn from my grief. If a name of a friend or family member pops into your head, especially on more than one occasion, please, pick up the phone and call. It may be your last chance to say, “I love you”.
Lesson learned, for the moment.
“If anyone has ears to hear let him hear”. Mark 4:23
Lord, forgive me,