I am a dreamer. I may be “an idealist”; a “visionary” or even “a habitually impractical person” (thank you Webster) However, for the purposes of this post, I mean it in the post boring, literal way: I am a person who dreams. A lot.
I know a lot of people wake up in the morning unaware of their dreams- not me. I dream all night long and most of the time I can remember multiple dreams when I wake up. Oh, and typically my dreams are weird. Like, WEIRD. Bethdreams that way too- she once dreamed she’d given birth to a spaghetti noodle that grew into a lasagna noodle. I once dreamed the pool in her back yard extended up like Shamu’s tank above their house and had giant eel in it that Shane was keeping as a pet.
Yeeeeaaah. WEIRD runs in the fam.
Anyway I have basically had two recurring dreams since I was a kid and one recurring character since High School. The first recurring dream? Its the scared-someone-is-chasing-me run of the mill kind of thing. The second is a little more comical… I dream I am walking to Amy Grant’s house and realize on the way their that I have been there multiple times before and that she’s actually, like, my best friend.
Now for the recurring character- Let’s call him Adam, ok? (I am changing his name in case he would ever google himself and find that he’s been showing up in my dreams and get the wrong idea- can anyone say ‘awkward’?)
I really wasn’t aware of Adam until the seventh grade when he was in my Social Studies class. I mean, I knew he existed, but he was kind of that popular jock boy that was not on my radar. Being in a class with him, however, I started to see that there was more to him. I suppose there might’ve been a little crush back in those years, but that would have been the peak of it. I didn’t like him like that. We did begin an acquaintance type friendship and I hoped to be able to share my faith with him. Over the next few years, I did just that. Adam came to youth group and church sometimes and sometimes we’d talk about Jesus and Christianity and the pressure to be popular. Well, his pressure to be popular. I didn’t really have that. He was a star athlete in three sports; I was the last runner on the cross country team. He goofed off in school; I was a straight A student. He was the guy every girl wanted to date; I was the nice girl everyone came to when they had a problem. Popularity wasn’t really on my radar either. That divide widened with High School – he became The Jock and I became the Science Girl. We hung out less, but always sat near each other if we happened to be in the same class.
Junior year Geometry was the last class we had together. I remember it clearly because we did a lot of talking about Jesus. Adam’s parents wanted him to be popular and Christianity didn’t really fit. He would come with me to youth group and talk about the emptiness of partying… he was that guy we’ve all known whose one the ‘bad kids’ but not really? Do you know someone like that? Anyway, I suppose we did go on one “date” that year… we went golfing and we both knew it just wasn’t like that between us so we mostly talked about Jesus.
Adam on and off dated a girl who went to church but also partied and drank and had sex with him. She wasn’t a big fan of mine.
Senior year was really hard on me. Up until that point, I was well liked and had lots of acquaintance friends. Not popular, not cool, but I had a good rapport with even the druggie kids. They may not have invited me to parties, but we could talk in the hallway or in class and enjoy each other’s company.
All of that shifted Senior year. I suddenly was the only virgin I knew in my class. A lot of people who’d never partied, started to party. I felt more and more on the outs. Senior trip got planned and I was strategically not invited and everyone kept it quiet around me for fear that I would want to go… I never would’ve gone even if I’d been asked, but it was hurtful the way everyone sneaked around and thought I didn’t get it. The final nail in the coffin was when a girl who went to my church claimed that I had told the youth pastor and her mom that she was sleeping with her boyfriend. I didn’t, but that didn’t matter. The rumor spread like wildfire and I came to school one morning and the druggie girl who had the locker next to me, with whom I had had pleasant pre-school conversation for the last 3.5yrs, called me a F***ING B**** and slammed her locked and never spoke to me again.
Overnight I went from being the nice Christian girl to be labeled a Self Righteous Tattle Tale.
It was a sad time for me; less sad as graduation approached and I knew I was leaving and MOVING AWAY. Everyone cried in the hallways and hugged each other like their lives were ending; I found myself skipping and humming that last week of school.
I thought about Adam from time to time when the announcements in the morning told of the varsity baseball teams’ win the night before. He was deep into the partying scene now- rumors abounded about his sexual exploits and the wild weekends. We’d pass in the hustle and bustle between classes and he’d avoid me. There were no more random youth group visits or talks about Jesus. I knew he didn’t want me to see his eyes- I could see how lost he was an unhappy despite his rising popularity and coolness.
So, that last month of school I guess I figured everyone already hated me and I might as well go for it. I wrote Adam a long letter about Jesus and the cited the the Israelites return to God and places in the New Testament about God’s desire to extend grace and mercy. It was a pretty to the point letter.
It got the reaction I expected.
At a drunken party, the girl he dated on and off got a hold of it. Lots of people read it and scolded me and laughed at me. I didn’t care anymore. One time, that last week of school, I caught his eye and I knew although he had made a joke of it, he had gotten it.
Every couple of months for last ten years, he would pop up in a dream. He never said or did anything; he was never a central character in them. He would just be standing off to the side. Mom and I have laughed about it and come to the conclusion that he’s the representation of High School to me…. the bad feelings of being lied about, acquaintance level friendships, wanting to see people set free to Jesus…
I had never seen him once since graduation until last Sunday.
I came into church late with wet hair and a fussy Cohen. Mom saved me a seat in the back. We were half way through worship when Cohen tried to get away and I lunged down the aisle and when I looked up… there was Adam… a few rows forward sitting in the middle, next to whom I suppose is his wife. I pointed to him and mom laughed, “here come the dreams!” Apparently his brother has come to know Jesus along with his wife and kids. I think Adam was probably just visiting, but you never know…
If there is anything I love about my Church its the fact that nearly every Sunday someone pops up from High School- and not the “good kids”; the ones you’d expect to find in some church on a Sunday morning, but the ones you’d never expect to find within the confines of a building dedicated to worshipping God… the rough kids, the druggies, the wild ones, the popular ones…
I had to sneak out a little early because Co had had it with nursery and I didn’t get to say hello BUT I did say a little prayer of thanks and of hope that God will send lots of people to water the seeds that have been planted…