Wow. What a full week. I had fully settled in my spirit to spend this week reflecting and reading, and instead I've spent my small slivers of spare time watching videos of Emmett that came in the mail and looking through some of his notebooks that I keep finding squirreled away all over the house. My spirit has been quiet and reflective. I wouldn't say peaceful, exactly, but free from the frantic emotional swings so characteristic of my soul lately.
I've been plagued with terrible dreams for a while now. Ironically they were particularly bad while I was at the monastery, but yesterday morning, I woke up from one that was both awful and so arresting that I immediately started praying. In the dream I was at school, and though in the dream I knew all the people, they were not actually people I know in real life. There was a serial killer on the loose, and his first move was to kill the entire cheerleading squad (what does that say about my psyche?). Although there was a group of men trying to capture him, he was able to continue killing. Then when I was on the phone with a friend, he came to kill her and she told me who it was. It was the man in charge of group trying to catch the killer. And I had a problem. I knew no one would believe me because this man was so charismatic, with the kind of magnetically attractive personality that leads you to believe almost anything rather than the truth. So he came to my room, and asked me to go on a walk with him. And there was this weird moment because I knew he was a psycho killer, and he knew that I knew what he was. But he was so freakishly attractive that I really didn't care if he was going to kill me. Until some teeny tiny voice in my brain started shouting, "run you moron!"
The dream petered out from there, but I woke up breathless with God's words to Cain in Genesis 4 on my heart, "sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." For the first time in a long time I really felt the heartlessness of evil and it was creepy. It was like that face in the dream was leering at me, knowing exactly how to wrap sin in a package so enticing that I wouldn't even care I was running to my death. So I immediately started praying, terrified by my own helplessness in the face of evil, not that something would happen to me, but that I would be tempted away from Christ to my own spiritual death. I prayed over and over to be hidden in Christ and protected beneath the shadow of God's wing.
Paul warns repeatedly to flee temptation, sin, evil, idolatry, etc. So I've been praying to be able to hear that teeny tiny voice when it tells me to run like crazy and that I would be given the strength to set my legs in motion.