A few weeks ago, right after very difficult cancer surgery, I had a dream that has not faded and that has become more and more meaningful as the treatments continue.
In a fever-sick dream, I was walking to the doctor’s office and I didn’t want to go. I was very weak and sick. It was important for me to go even if I didn’t want to. It is odd that I was walking. It is also odd that I was in my pajamas and I felt afraid. The day was cloudy and calm, and I felt warm even in my pajamas.
As I walked along, I thought something was catching up to me on my left side. I was afraid to look. The first thing I noticed was the head of a giant bird. It had a fierce eye and I thought it was an eagle as tall as me. I was afraid to turn my head and draw its attention. It caught up with me and I saw that it was actually an enormous black and white Peacock. I turned my head and saw that it was at least twenty feet from its head to its tail. It was bowed way down so it could look me in the eye.
I know peacocks. Peacocks usually make a loud call like kids screaming on a playground, or like your basketball coach. This one was not like the peacocks I have known. He did not strut. He did not fan his tail feathers, and he was bright white and black as an orca. This peacock made no noise and he was a dreadful sight.
I kept walking. He kept up with me and looked me in the eye. I began to relax and feel more comfortable with “My Peacock." I noticed he had on white socks and black shoes with straps, not the usual four long toes with sharp claws. He walked almost silently but I could hear a soft rustling of those enormous feathers on his wings and tail, and his crest waved like six-foot feather flags.
I began to feel safe or even protected as we got to the doctor’s office, but the peacock stayed outside.
I had a very bad and uncomfortable time in the doctor’s office. It was painful and embarrassing. I was glad to get out of there. I could hear dogs barking outside. My peacock was standing there silently waiting for me with scared little dogs all around.
We were quiet and confident as we walked away together, leaving the noisy dogs and troubles behind.
Dreams are funny things. They create feelings that remain long after I wake up, sometimes. I can’t always remember the details in a dream, and they fade with time. This dream is still vivid, and I remember a little more each time I think about it, such as spiritual reasons for the walking shoes instead of the usual running, scratching and perching feet of a natural peacock. Maybe the shoes signify that the Spirit of God is always with us.
It seems like there’s something I’m trying to remember, but I don't recall it yet. It seems like the peacock did say something that I just can’t quite remember. Today it became more clear to me that the Peacock represents the protective nature and role of the Holy Spirit in my life, and even if he didn’t actually say anything out loud, the peacock gave me the strength to go where I did not want to go and confidence to do what I did not want to do.
God-dreams are like that.
O Lord, will you activate your spirit in me, not only for my comfort and protection but so that I may be a comfort and an encourager to others? In Jesus’ name, Amen!