(Continued from Part I)
Shelley’s Intro: A recurring dream on Good Friday annually for three years has kept Suzanne Paschall searching for its truest meaning for 15 years since…
First, Why do I have this dream over and over? Second, why on Good Friday, the commemoration of Jesus’ death by crucifixion on the cross?
Next, is there any symbolism in the setting – the rocky path, the cliff on one side and meadow on the other, the weather? In good fiction, these are primary storytelling elements that can serve as metaphors, foreshadowing events to come, or setting a mood or tone to heighten the scene’s meaning.
Then, why does he brush my hand away, and why does he seem to show little if any emotion? The archetype of Jesus in my memory was always presented as a good, kindly figure. This Jesus was not only not kind, but a bit stand-offish.
Also, he was clearly (to me) Jesus, and not an angel, so why did his actions and speech seem to indicate that he was an angel?
And then finally, the most intriguing question: What the heck is the meaning of the one and only statement he makes to me in this dream? “You cannot discern the lips of an angel.”
Over the years, on the occasions it would re-surface in my memory, I’ve played the game of trying to change the emphasis on different words of the sentence to see if a meaning that made sense might shake out of an altered reading.
“You cannot discern the lips of an angel,” for instance, meant to me that there was something wrong with me, some obstruction in my head or heart, that was keeping me from recognizing him as who he was? Was this about my lapse of faith?
But, “you cannot discern the lips of an angel,” might read as a chastisement; or an enlightenment about the nature of angels; that they are un-discernible, so there is no point in trying to do so (by reaching out to touch them).
“You cannot discern the lips of an angel” is a most fascinating read, and could be a piece all on its own…spiritual discernment, as it turns out, is a big deal to God.
And discerning angels is actually a thing, as I learned once when I put the actual phrase Jesus spoke into Google’s search engine to see what would transpire.
In short, spiritual discernment is about a person’s ability to see the difference between truth and error; right and wrong, good and evil, ultimately, Satan and God.
Now it makes sense…?
So, wow again. With this reading I can easily go down the rabbit hole of my own co-dependency, and my resulting lack of clarity and ability to make decisions; never knowing the right or wrong answer. That could be why I couldn’t relate to any meaning for me at the time; I was in a big denial state about my situation. But now, in recovery, it actually makes a great deal of sense.
Reconnecting with God for me is in its early stages, but powerful things have already happened. My ability to “discern” is growing; I can feel it. I’m still a novice, and old habits die hard, but I’m also becoming more aware every day.
And, to be honest, I’ve stayed stuck at the word discernment in the sentence, so haven’t even made it to putting the emphasis on lips or angel yet. I’m still working on it. One day at a time. When Shelley asked me if I’d be willing to share this story for this Good Friday season, I hesitated, and then agreed. Mostly because she is such a dear person and I trust her, but also because maybe, just maybe, the answer isn’t inside me after all, but is out there somewhere…with one of you. Or maybe one of you is meant to consider your own ability to discern from reading this post.
Blessings for this Lenten season, and especially for a prayerful, thoughtful Good Friday filled with gratitude, and a glorious Easter Sunday of praise, hope and love.
I’ve always liked Socrates’ assertion that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” And this dream series event bears examining. If only because it still won’t leave me, years after its actual occurrence.
Ask, and you shall receive,