Did y’all know that at the end of the oh-so-popular Daniel and the Lions’ Den story, King Darius orders the wives and children of the men that “tricked” him into the lions’ pit, too? The children are mauled and killed and their bones are crushed “before they reached the floor of the den.”
I wonder why they leave that part out when they teach the story to kids as a great example of trusting in god? Maybe because the god of the Bible is the stuff of nightmares, not love?
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. ~JJ
Many years ago I had a terrible nightmare about a tornado. It was the most realistic dream I had ever experienced and as I was about to be killed by this monstrosity swirling toward me I had the thought, “It’s too late.” Too late to do what I wanted to do. Too late for… honestly, I didn’t even know at the time. I was still in high school, but I deeply understood I was dying and it was too late to do anything important with my life.
I woke up panicked and crying, but also clear that some things needed to change. That personal fear of death motivated me to do things differently. Treat life itself differently. The dream was in the back of my mind the remainder of high school, all through college, and even into graduate school. Then, I forgot all about it.
Until this morning. Because I had another one.
I’m not going to describe the dream (that’s a little too dramatic for a 7am post), but I will say it was even more terrifying than the first one. My thoughts this time, however, were focused entirely on my kids and doing everything in my power to warn them. Protect them. Stay alive for them. Horrifying, yes, but this time around I had no feelings of regret.
I woke up gasping for air, adrenaline rushing. There was no chance of getting back to sleep so I checked on my kids (sound asleep, snug in blankets) and went for a run to watch the sun rise.
I’m not really sure what the lesson is here…but I’m writing this down so I don’t forget it. There’s relief that I’m now living a life that left me with no regrets as I was about to die. There’s also fear that so much of my identity and purpose in life is tied up in my kids’ survival…but I’ve known that from the moment each was born. I don’t need a freaking tornado dream as a reminder (thanks anyway, Brain).
So I send this out to all of you: We’re all dying. We are all dying. Be kind to one another. Be kind to yourself. More love, less anger. Figure out what’s important to you. Do something. Learn something. Create something.
And watch out for storms. ~JJ
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” ~Carl Sagan, Contact
My husband: Good morning, kiddies.
My 4-year-old daughter: We’re not kitties! We’re humans!
My husband: You are right, I’m sorry. Good morning, humans!
My 9-year-old son: You could call us apes, too! We’re apes.
My daughter: We’re apes, but not gorillas. We’re all…what’s that word again? Primeets?
My husband: Primates.
My son: Yeah! You could say, “Good morning, primates!”
My daughter: But not kitties. We are definitely not kitties.