Taking the plunge..

In my dream I was standing on the shore of a sandy beach, leaning against a piling. I was dressed as for church: a dress, pumps and modest jewelry, my hair neatly combed.

A swell of water came in and overtook me, covering me completely. It was not a crashing wave, but an upwelling of the sea. It did not crush me against the piling, nor did it tumble me with furor-rather it came in gently and enfolded me and I felt safe and protected by its presence.

I had the dream several years ago just after Easter, and we had just read John 21 describing the third appearance of Jesus after his resurrection: “Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.”

Peter is known as the impetuous apostle-often leaping into activity before contemplating his words or action…but in this case he actually performed an appropriate act: he put on clothing even though he was going to leap into the sea to go meet Jesus!

Dream study universally interprets “water dreams” as having to do with emotion. The position of the dreamer, the turbulence (or lack thereof) of the water, its clarity (or lack thereof) and the feelings of the dreamer toward the water all help uncover the meaning of the dream.

I think that in my dream, occurring just after the joyful celebration of Easter, I was “channeling” Peter-he was naked, and donned clothes before he jumped into the sea. I was in my “Sunday Best.” We both apparently know that you want to look your best when you anticipate seeing our Lord! The water in my dream was not angry, nor turbulent. It did not crash me against the piling, nor was it murky and filled with flotsam. It, reminding me of the clear, calm waters of baptism, was cleansing, comforting and meant to immerse me “in” God.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is an “anticipatory” season: we look for and expect to meet our Creator, and examine our own nakedness in the process. Enter Lent, like Peter and I, dressed for the occasion, and anticipating the all-encompassing, cleansing waters of God’s engulfing presence!