Numbers – Chapter 24, Verse 9

I slept, I dreamt…

I dreamt I was standing in an immense public square, unlike any I have ever seen in my life. Great castles, tall buildings and vast towers crowded the sky – milling throngs filled the streets.

I dreamt I was trying to make my way out from among the host, but with much difficulty as the masses of people were bustling about me – pulling on my clothes, trying to touch me and eagerly thrusting themselves towards me. It was as though I were a great celebrity. A beloved one-of-the-people.

In my dream, I was disoriented. Hindered by that circuitous dream-state that hinders organized rational thought. Nevertheless, instinct led me to lower my eyes and force my way through. Over cries of pleasure and through entangled arms and legs.

I made my way to the tall gate that led out of the city and pushed the rusted door open as flowers and sighs of praise continued to fall over me.

I walked over to a nearby fountain and washed my hands and face. As I leaned over the marble edges, rinsing my hands in frigid water, I looked upon my reflection.

In my dream I looked a bit younger than I do now. My hair was longer and heavily oiled with patchouli, making it densely curled around my face – my face, smooth and glowing with the radiance of youth. It was more than `just a pretty face` – it was an image of beauty – and I longed to gaze upon it for a long time. To bask in the glow of my great glory.

Suddenly a low growl caught my attention.

I whirled around and could faintly see some vague indistinct animal curled up inside a cave in the near hillside.

Moving out of my crouched position, I stood with my arms at my side and my legs slightly apart. I was covered from shoulder-to-toe in immaculate golden armor, suffused with precious gems of every kind. Ornately carved with wisdom of great kings-of-the-world. The words and prayers of Socrates, Aristotle and other great minds of ancient and modern times. My armor itself was an expression to the glory and wonder of mankind.

I reached to my side and brandished my great weapon. A broadsword of highly polished iron – engraved `Zarathustra` near the hilt.

I stood in a powerful combat stance, waiting for my adversary to reveal himself. In my mind, I imagined I would wait only long enough for it to step into the light before I would rain down upon it all the fury of a thousand demons.

Out from the shadows stepped a gaunt creature of sickly and famished countenance. Looking much like a lion in detail, but little like a lion in condition. It was an abject creature and it made a feeble growl at me as it leisurely moved into the light.

Struck by the sight, I began to laugh at the pathetic animal. A loud braying laugh, full of bitterness and spite.

“I could crush this whelp with my bare hands,” I sneered, “his tawny hide is not even worthy a single blow of great Zarathustra.”

With a heart blackened with malice I idly reached out towards the lion`s gnarly mane to end its pitiful days – and faster than a thought, it leapt into the air and crushed me to the earth.

Pinned under the beast`s weight, I felt my body being pushed into the hard earth. I looked on the ground beside me where I dropped my weapon during the attack and I saw it liquefy, no, liquefy implies a certain degree of density that would be planetary compared to this. It simply disintegrated. As though it was not more than a vapor – as though it was nothing but idle words floating about a summer sky.

My body was slowly sinking, and I glanced towards the Great City of my birth and I saw much of the same. It dissipated in a gaseous cloud as though it were but a dream.

I looked upward and saw not that feeble creature of previous decription, but a great lion, unlike those that roam the earth. This was the Lion, The-One-True-Lion.

The blackness of the Abyss was close, and my body was more than halfway submerged into the groaning earth.

Suddenly the great Lion rose up onto its back legs and plunged its long claws into its chest – then in the flickering of an eyelash, tore its own chest wide open.

Horrendous. Blood and entrails rained upon me in foul steaming piles that fell in great quantity. My eyes and nostrils burned from the vile odors and bodily fluids. The entrails were obliterating the armor which had once been my pride.

I was drowning. My body halfway buried in the ground – my cranial orifices filling up in the disgusting internal organs of a giant lion. I surrendered in complete and utter resignation. With my dying breath, calling out to the Lion to be merciful and spare my life.

Upon this, my body rose up the ground. The mire fell away from my eyes. My ears opened. My nostrils smelled the fragrance of wild flowers and sweetness. The vile entrails were transformed into great torrents of the purest water and honey that poured forth from the corpse of the animal, emptying it completely. Cleansing me and purging my mind of all guilt and shame.

As the animal`s corpse was lying on top of me, it was also softening and sticking to me. The carcass wrapped itself around me lifting me off the ground and embracing me. It closed tight around my body and we became as one flesh.

A great roar echoed across the heavens and I could hear multitudes upon multitudes praising the Lion. Praising all that He has done and all that He will do.

I found my voice joining them in praise. Moreover, my voice blended in with the others, praising God for all eternity.

Amen.

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