“Here we are, you and I, and I hope a third, Christ, is in our midst.”

Aelred of Rievaulx, 12th Century

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As I was watching, thrones were raised up. The ancient one took his seat. His clothes were white like snow; his hair was like a lamb’s wool. His throne was made of flame; its wheels were blazing fire. A river of fire flowed out from his presence; thousands upon thousands served him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood ready to serve him! The court sat in session; the scrolls were opened.

As I continued to watch this night vision of mine, I suddenly saw one like a human being coming with the heavenly clouds. He came to the ancient one and was presented before him. Rule, glory, and kingship were given to him; all peoples, nations, and languages will serve him. His rule is an everlasting one— it will never pass away!— his kingship is indestructible.

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

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Poor Daniel. After this nighttime vision, I’m surprised he was able to go back to sleep again.

I rarely remember my dreams or visions and feel the poorer for it – because I believe that dreams can give us important clues to who we are and who God wants us to be. We just have to pay attention.

Can you remember having dreams about God? Did you dismiss those images by telling yourself that it was only a dream? Or did you allow some part of the dream to impress itself upon you in ways that changed how you viewed yourself and the world?

I do remember one particular dream – more like a vision – which changed my life. Jesus stood at the foot of my bed, gesturing in a way that beckoned me to follow. Though I never questioned its truthfulness, more than a year passed before I could talk about it and acknowledge my interpretation of it: that God was calling me to seminary and the possibility of becoming an ordained clergy person. Who’d a thunk?

Christine Vogel

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God of Surprises, give me the wisdom to look and listen for the many ways you speak, including through dreams and visions; let them show me a way where once there was no way. Amen.

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“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. […] Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 1929

Christine Vogel

Rev. Christine B. Vogel, D. Min., a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has served as an associate pastor, a college chaplain, and the Dean of Students at McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently she works as a certified Spiritual Director at Claret Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Walking Toward Morning: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Ken Medema

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