I recently saw a sign in the park near my home: “COVID-19 helped me dream.” What an unexpected thought: A global pandemic helped me dream.
I do not know what the writer meant, but I have found myself more open to new possibilities recently, to the opportunities that this crisis presents for me as a person and for us as a community of faith. This moment may be dark, but our future is bright.
Have you ever noticed that most dreams come to us in the night? We need to be quiet before we can dream. We need to pull a veil over reality, with all of its constraints, before we can transcend reality. Big ideas seem more possible when we can see no reason for them to be impossible.
The Bible speaks very highly of dreamers, of people who believe in things that are too remarkable for most people to accept:
Jacob dreamed a dream of angels ascending and descending from heaven; his dream was a vision of God that inspired him for the rest of his life.
Jacob’s son, Joseph, dreamed a dream that he would rise above his brothers. His dream did not make him popular, but it surely did come true.
Dreams are one of the many tools that God uses to speak to people who might not be otherwise inclined to listen. In Numbers, God says to Miriam and Aaron: “When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams.”
COVID-19 has peeled away so many of the layers of daily life. It has slowed us down, and perhaps that slowing down can help us all become dreamers again, prophets who hear God’s voice in the stillness of the night and are courageous enough to pursue his will in the frenzy of the day.
The Psalmist writes, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream.” I pray that the same will be said of us as we transition back into more familiar routines. I pray that we will be like those who dream: Inspired, and courageous, and blessed.