The place to begin when alone

I had a disturbing dream the other night. I was in my house and several of my best friends over the years left me. Then, I found myself walking down a long, paved road that bisected the neighborhood where I grew up.

During the whole dream I felt very alone.

Since then, I have been pondering what this dream means. I’ve even consulted a couple of dream interpretation websites, one that purports to be a “Bible” site and one called “Dream Moods.”

The biblical dream site tells me the house signifies my life. The other site added the concepts of “soul” and “self”.

Seeing my friends denotes help and understanding according to the Bible site, while the secular one indicates that they signify aspects of my personality I have rejected but now are ready to adopt. Dreaming about my BFF seems to mean that there is something about him I should encourage in my own life.

And the road? It seems to signify my sense of direction or a choice. The fact it was paved (and thus smooth) could mean that God is going to intervene in my choices and direction. The fact that the road was in my hometown could mean either I have unexpressed feelings or that some aspect of my life which was developed when I was a child but missing now.

Putting all of these ideas together and my own knowledge of my self and circumstances, the meaning of this dream seems clear. I am lonely and I lack friends.

I also feel the need to change this situation, but the road tells me I am struggling with making that choice. I prefer my solitude. But my best friend’s most profound quality is his ability to have a million friends and I admire that.

Also, the one thing I did have growing up was friends. I didn’t have tons of them, but I did hang with people. One of my best friends today is a man I met when we were toddlers.

Being a loner can be admirable, but only if there is a purpose for it. In the classic film “12 Angry Men” Henry Fonda was the only juror willing to free a boy accused of murdering his father. He had “reasonable doubt” that the young man had done the deed.

Despite constant abuse, Fonda stayed the course and patiently convinced the other 11 men that the boy was not guilty of the crime.

But I have no such noble motive for my hermit-like existence. I have just withdrawn from people because I have had enough of the human race.

I have been hurt badly in my marriage. My kids have rejected me. A girl I have written about on this site has chosen someone else to have a relationship with.

A song made popular by “The Four Seasons” and “The Spinners” partially describes my marital history:

Called “I’m Workin’ My Way Back to You”, the lyrics tell of a man who let his love die due to his own mistakes. He thought what he was doing to his chick made him a man, but he was wrong.

But now, he’s working his way back to her.

When you were so in love with me
I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and eat it too
But how I cried over losin’ you

See me down and out
But I ain’t about to go livin’ my life without you
For every day, I made you cry
I’m payin’ girl, till the day that I die

I’ll keep workin’ my way back to you babe
With a burnin’ love inside
I’m workin’ my way back to you babe
And the happiness that died

I let it get away
Been payin’ every day.

The reason I wrote that this song only “partially” describes my relationship with my wife is that up until now I have not been willing to work my way back to her. There is no “burning love inside.”

What does apply to me is the description of a man paying for his sins. That I will do until the day I die.

I don’t know exactly how to proceed, but God does.

In a famous story where Jesus meets a woman at a well, he offers her new life-living water.

She has a terrible history that makes me look like a saint. “You have had five husbands and the man with whom you are now living is not your husband,” Jesus tells her.

That she is coming to the well alone in the heat of the day speaks of her isolation from society. But running into Jesus makes her go to the townspeople and tell them about Him. “He knows everything I have ever done,” she tells them. (John 4)

Her experience encourages me. Even her first encounter with Jesus made her go find people. Further, she knew that the Lord knew everything about her but still accepted her.

This is where I have to begin-with the Jesus who loves me for and despite of who I am. The more I become friends with Him, the more willing and able  I will be to make real friends and either restore my marriage or move on to a woman who will complete the man I am now.

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