Refuse Not Him Who Speaks

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. – Hebrews 12:25

I have had many troublesome dreams lately. We retreated to the mountains earlier this week and I had a dream one night of driving my work truck erratically and striking pedestrians and having many accidents. It was like watching a video game, and the screen kept flashing red with a beeping noise to alert me that the authorities were coming to stop me. When you see red in a dream, it is significant (and rare). It symbolizes anger, of course, as we often speak of “seeing red.” But it also symbolizes great passion or energy – as in the blood which is the life.

A couple days later I dreamed I was holding my daughter down with my hands on both sides of her head, trying to pray for her. She kept writhing to get free and I shouted, “No! For once you are going to listen to me!” But it wasn’t effective: it was just a picture of struggle and wrestling.

Then this morning I dreamed I was at the house of a woman I used to know. I was entirely engaged with this woman and her friends until I went to leave, and then I went into a bedroom and my daughter and my son were tucked into bed. They’re both teens now but in the dream they were little again – my daughter perhaps four or five years old with beautiful blue eyes and creamy skin and wispy dark blonde hair. I went in to say goodbye to them, but my son’s face lay in shadow; it was only my daughter’s face I saw. She looked at me and I just wept and held her for a long time as I said goodbye.

Today she is leaving our house like the Prodigal Daughter, believing so many tragic lies about herself and her parents and God and the nature of love. She goes to do irreparable harm to herself and to her lost boyfriend in Washington, and I am powerless to stop it because she has refused to listen to my voice or even look at me.

While we were in the mountains, we took a hike in Shenandoah National Park called the Bearfence Mountain Trail. It contains a fair amount of rock scramble that requires some thought and dexterity to pass safely, and at one point I noticed the trail led up a steep incline with a stooped fall directly behind it, a kind of crucible where one misplaced hand or one slipped foot would lead to absolute, certain death. My daughter had already gone up ahead. She hadn’t observed the sheer drop at all.

It was her 18th birthday three days ago, so I purchased her a card and put $200 in it and left it on her packed suitcase as she was in the shower. I wrote “Hebrews 12:25” in a corner of the card. I suppose I will close to go mow grass or wash cars or something mundane that keeps me physically occupied so I don’t spend this day through a blur of tears.