It is very hard to get a prayer answered when one is double-minded. And double-mindedness often involves strongholds. We pray and pray and pray but something in us either wants the prayer answered for the wrong reason, or something in us fears to have the prayer answered.
Last night, I dreamed I was in our house --our house with more rooms. I generally don't have these extra unknown room dreams, but there you go. The house was like ours with all the damaged. Our beds were mattresses on the floor -- which they are now in real life unfortunately. And all the walls of the house were gouged out -- which they are now in real life as well.
We had rented out rooms to some other folks --artist types, actors, bohemians-- who wouldn't mind that kind of thing. And i was amazed that we had all that room to rent to them. Then I found two extra rooms. These rooms were so beautiful. The walls hadn't been gouged by younger son's tantrum kicking. The bathroom wasn't leaking onto everything. The beds were beautiful -- real beds, not the mattresses we now sleep on (because they were destroyed and we don't have money to fix them). It was just an utterly beautiful place.
One bedroom had a purple coverlet or quilt and the other had a blue one. And I said to Luke, "We could've been sleeping in these all this time! And the boys in the other one...and we didn't know!"
Then I saw a shelf inside one of the bedrooms. A shelf of shelves with all these pewter or metallic gray metal casts and busts or engravings of Americana people and things, famous icons or landmarks. The kind of stuff that would be made by a mint or some place that does hummels or other collectibles.
I said to Luke, "Oh, we can't have these in our bedroom! They're engraved things..and we
aren't allowed by the scriptures to have graven images." Because in real life, we don't have engraved things in our house because of the commandment.
So we decided to remove them from the bedroom. But because it was a scruple thing and not a matter of sin or no sin I decided I would sell them on ebay to folks who had no scruples about that kind of thing. I lifted one of them --might've been a bust of George Washington. It was empty inside, like an empty idol.
Anyway, here are Jessica's and my discussion of the dream this morning:
Butler: my first thought in it was that the house is symbolic of life
me: is it talking about us findign our true marriage with me getting rid of my false idols engraved in my mind?
Butler: and that you discovered those two new rooms that had not been savaged being the beginning of a new life, a discovery of wholeness even amidst the old brokenness but am not too sure what the images are since you would not be worshipping them and they could not have been that bad if you were going to sell them. I know that you would destroy them so that you would not tempt others.
me: it was a case where i thought: These are not right for me the christian because they go against the ten commandments, but i knew other folks collect such things. There are sinful things. i wouldn't give to them.
me: but it's a scruple thing
me: if someone considers something a sin, to him it is a sin
Butler: I was going to say that it strikes me as a meat sacrificed to idols
me: and i don't have any engraved things in my house
Butler: that is just what I was typing, so I am trying to determine what it is specifically in your life since you already don't have idols/images
me: well, mentally i did
Butler: so it must be symbolic of something
me: if it was korean hottie it would be understandable but it was pewter and americana
like the stuff one would buy in collector's stuff from the mint, not porcelain though
but pewter a grey metal and the one i lifted up was geoprge washington and when i looked inside it it was empty. it was heavy but inside there was nothing and i had thought they would be solid throughout and I thought of the dichotomy of the arty folks in one room and the normal americana in the other.
Butler: hmmm true
me: see what i mean?
me: maybe i also have some idea about normalcy
Butler: they're hollow and cold in the one room, perhaps so
me: and i can have both or must decide what i want and how to balance the beautiful bedroom was the best of america and middle class values but too much too much with the americana pewter thing and the arty bohemian thing was like how one lives when one is just out of college
Butler: but they could be removed easily ...the pewter I mean
Butler: so maybe it is that you can remove those things while still living in the fine and beauty
me: i'm not really that committed to pewter amaericana..although i do want to write a great cowboy book or lose my idea of what being all american would be and i had a big fight with the arty folks because they were a bit too much for me although they accepted me
So is the dislike of Americana a stronghold? And can God give me americana if in my heart my mind and imaginations are focused on the artistic life?
it's almost like God is saying, "Is this what you want? You are able to get it. Believe in it..and know you won't go overboard."
I was arguing with the arty lifestyle.
i think once one gets rid of a stronghold
one opens the door to the prayer being answered
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