I had a dream, and I hope you won’t mind terribly if I tell it. I was thinking about superheroes, and I had just read MacDonald’s chapter on Sorrow, the Pledge of Joy before I slept. And in that subconscious domain of dreams, somehow these two twined together into a thread, and the thread began to weave a story.
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I dreamed there was a large old mansion, and the mood in the halls was very somber and sad. It seemed that there was a gentleman who had lived there and had been master of the house; he had been a good man, and was loved dearly by all who met him. It appeared that he had been in the habit of going out in to the town to help incognito – bringing to mind the idea of the aristocratic hero with a double identity like The Scarlet Pimpernel or Bruce Wayne. He had saved the defenseless, and always appeared to help when there was a need, although his heroic deeds were done in disguise or secretly. But now the gentleman had retired for some unknown reason, and had suddenly abandoned the town, his estate, staff and people. The townspeople mourned the loss of their mysterious hero, the staff were sad that they had lost their master, and there were also rumors of a woman the master had loved deeply and had once intended to marry, but whom he had also abandoned along with the rest. The woman had apparently now gone away, and the staff were all trying to figure out what to do next, and how to find new positions in other estates.
There was a new person at the head of operations in the grand old house, and preparations were being made to sell all remaining items that had not already been sold, and to liquidate the property. This new property manager was inspecting all the furniture to be sold, and reviewing and making inventory of everything with the master’s old butler. A courier appeared in the doorway to receive a package (it appeared that many items that had been sold from the estate were now regularly being delivered in this fashion). Waiting for his charge, the courier walked into the room and began to observe as the property manager and butler were inspecting the pieces. As they looked over an old bureau, a ring was discovered in the bottom drawer. The property manager looked at it, and not deeming it worth much scrutiny, gave it to the servant to inventory. The old butler had just been referring to an old family history and records book, and this book not only had the family records, but also had records of all the important pieces of jewelry, sculpture, art that were owned by the master. The butler took the ring in his fingers, held it up to the light and inspected the piece closely. It was a ring with three clusters of diamonds (three in each cluster), and tiny delicate leaves. Then he glanced back at the book he had just been consulting, and on the open page there was a family tree drawn across the two page spread, embellished and flowing with scrollwork, flowers and tiny birds. As he looked back at the ring, he noticed that it was a replica or representation of the little flowers that appeared here and there throughout the flowing embellishments on the page. It seemed to the butler that perhaps this had been the engagement ring, intended for the master’s fiancée.
At this, the master’s old butler took the courier aside, and along with some private instructions gave him the ring. The courier took the ring to the address given by the butler, and rang the bell. As the as the door was opened by the servant, it revealed the hall of a beautiful penthouse mansion filled with beautiful furnishings, pieces of art and other decorations. Golden sunlight streamed through the windows, and its beams shone softly and beautifully throughout the whole entryway, and the courier could not help but be drawn in by the scene that shone so beautifully before him. His gaze followed the rays of light as they glimmered on the pieces of art, the vases and statues which basked in the sunlight. As the servant who opened the door accepted the ring, the courier began to notice that everything looked rather familiar, as if he had seen these very decorations, pieces of art and furnishings somewhere before. He suddenly realized that he had just seen these very pieces depicted in the pages of the book of records the old butler had, and which they had just been inspecting at the old mansion. The more he looked around, the more it seemed to him that everything that had been sold and taken away, had been brought here and placed in this new house. It dawned on him that perhaps this was the new home of the master of the old mansion, and that he was quietly transferring his prized possessions so as not to arouse suspicion. Knowing the state of affairs at the old mansion, the courier was suddenly sad. How could anyone do that to his staff, the people he supposedly cared about and even to the woman he loved? He had to know, so he requested an audience with the master of the house.
The master saw the courier out on his terrace, and the courier began to question him – how he could have left everyone behind, and how he could be so callous and uncaring? How could he abandon not only the village people who had come to depend on him, his household servants who had been so very loyal to him for so many years, but even the woman he claimed to love? The master looked at him, and then looked out over the terrace and said “I need you to do me a favor. Will you do it?” And the courier thought about it, and said that he would. So the master brought a rope, and asked the courier to lower himself down the side of the building to the fourth floor down. Once there, he must photograph what he saw in the window. So the courier took the camera, and with much difficulty (being his first time) let himself carefully over the side of the building. He swung from side to side, slipped, and struggled as he tried to hold on to the rope, not drop the camera, and somehow also get himself down the rope; but he finally did so, and arrived at the window on the fourth floor. Looking in the window through the glass, he raised the camera to capture the requested image. As the scene came into focus through the viewfinder, he saw a woman, sitting in a small apartment, crying. Slowly, recognition hit him – this was the woman the master had loved, in the very same apartment building – under his very roof and possibly even his provision and protection, and yet not even knowing it. Why would the master do that? Slowly the courier began to see that perhaps the master had not been so callous after all. He began to see that the whole time the master had been away, he was making preparations to make a new and better home for his love, and even his loyal servants. He had not abandoned those he loved, but had them in his mind the whole time as he prepared for their change; he had simply been unable to tell them about it for some reason. A reason which, now seeing with his own eyes the enduring love and care of the master, must have been a very good one.
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The significance of the dream did not hit me till I woke up and reviewed it in my mind, and all of a sudden it hit me. At the time I had been desperately seeking answers to some of my questions, and it encouraged me so deeply to have a picture painted for me that tells of a story in which we are not just nothing, worthless or forgotten. (It reminded me of the film Anthony Zimmer, actually.) It whispered in my ear hope that the answers are coming; that there is a plan for taking care of a person even as small as I am, and that my questions are not cried out in vain. And it showed me a vision of a plan that is actually good, bright and beautiful; that even if I cannot see or have the answers I seek right now; there are answers, and that the answers will come when the time is right.