Thursday, August 30, 2012
". . . through he awful grace of God"
On August 10, the Friday after my father died, I was walking up the steep hill on Abbott Street to buy a few copies of the local newspapers wherein his Obituary would appear. The sky was overcast, and a slight drizzle had begun to fall. Needless to say, I was heartbroken, knowing I would never again see his face or hear his voice. I naively asked God for a "sign" that he was in Heaven.
No, the sun didn't suddenly come out from behind the clouds. But as I prepared to cross Main Street to the Turkey Hill convenience store for the newspapers, I looked down and, there on the road, in a puddle of water, was a penny. When I saw the date, I knew everything was good.
1971. The year I had dropped out of college, left home, returned, finished my degree, and got married. A year when the person who understood and supported me throughout my turbulence and never doubted me was, of course, my father. A penny from heaven? Why not . . .
Then, last night, or rather this morning before awakening, I was blessed with a dream that not only solidified my belief that both my mother and father are in the arms of the Lord, but brought me such peace as I haven't felt for a long while. For there they were, sitting together at a banquet table, dressed in the clothes they wore to my daughter's wedding in 1995. They were smiling, though looking away from the camera, towards somewhere in the distance.
My lucid dreaming is more of a curse than a blessing, and my poem, "Oneironaut", only scratches the surface. But for once I received a gift-dream, a message of consolation mirrored in the banquet described in Isaiah 25:6-9.
The Greek poet Aeschylus wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget / falls drop by drop upon the heart, / until, in our own despair, / against our will, / comes wisdom / through the awful grace of God."