Last night I had a dream. In my dream, when I woke up the next morning, it was as though May had come in the middle of January. The snow had all melted overnight, the grass was green and growing, birds were singing, the sun was shining. I remember noticing my driveway in particular–there was not a scrap of ice or snow on it. It was perfectly clear and drivable. I knew I wouldn’t have to gun it while backing out of the garage anymore just to be sure I’d make it through the thick patch of snow and ice that had been there the day before.
And yet, there we all were on January 17th, only a few days after the coldest day in five years. The green grass was somehow wrong. It shouldn’t have been like that. It was supposed to be cold. People started worrying, saying, “It got 50 degrees warmer in one day. What if it happens again tomorrow, and the day after that?” and, “See? I told you global warming was going to kill us all!”
But I just enjoyed the weather. I wished everyone else would calm down and accept the blessing of not having to deal with the literally-deadly wind and cold we had endured only days earlier.
I’m pretty sure the dream has something to do with the mental state I’ve been in lately. My brain is crafting some pretty clever metaphors on its off time. Last Wednesday, on the 14th, I was laid off from Enclarity. My position was eliminated. The Vice President of my division called me into his office and told me that they were scaling back significantly in their web-related efforts, and that I and many others were being let go that day. I don’t want to risk revealing anything I shouldn’t about Enclarity, so that’s all the detail I’ll give about what happened, but I’m very happy that I left on good terms, and they made it quite clear they’d take me back if they could.
In the 24 hours after I was let go, Minnesota experienced the coldest weather it has seen in five years, Stephanie’s car got stuck in a ditch, Caleb got sick and vomited seven times from 1am to 4:30am while Steph and I tried groggily to nurse him back to health and back to sleep, and I struggled (and twice failed) to move all my personal data off the MacBook Pro I had used while at Enclarity and into a smaller hard drive in an older, non-portable Mac mini.
It seemed everything I touched was covered in thick ice and snow, making each decision riskier and more likely to fail, making simple tasks more difficult, sucking the joy and heat from life. But then, the dream. It reminded me of this passage from Zechariah 13:7-9:
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
Refining Fire, You are welcome here. Come, test, consume and purify.