Juggling Fire

“35 Missed Calls”

I haven’t dreamed of Kentra in awhile. After we lost her in 1986 I would dream about her almost nightly. As time passed, the number of dreams about her decreased in frequency but remained ever powerful. I now only dream of her about once a year, but when I do, the dreams seem to last all night, and the thought of her sticks with me for days.

After one of my “all-nighters,” her face – always the same as it was when she was 14 – lingers in my mind. Her voice echoes in my head. Her smile lights up my heart … and makes it sad at the same time.

Last night, she was running – driving actually – to protect a treasure that a gang of well-dressed, filthy rich, modern-day desperados were after. My son’s friend, Matt, who also plays guitar for The Next, was one of the bandits.

Kentra and I, and another unidentified man, discovered the treasure. Word got out that we had it, and soon it became obvious that the band of thieves wanted it badly. The man and I sent the treasure with Kentra, who took off in the car in a direction unknown to either of us. My unidentified consort and I then conspired to bait the mobsters to follow us, while staying hidden from them at the same time.

It came time, however, that my partner and I had to check in to see if Kentra had tried to contact us. We had access to only one phone that was untraceable by the gang of thugs, and that phone was at my house. We snuck there, hoping to be far enough ahead of the thieves to at least have time to check for missed calls or messages from our friend on the road.

We bolted through the door of my home and ran to the phone to find 35 missed calls from Kentra. As I pushed the button to hear if she had left any messages for us concerning her whereabouts, the goons burst through the door – a whole pack of them, with Matt at the helm. He was dressed to the nines, wearing a multicolored suit and tie, Converse All-Stars, and a purple fedora. He demanded to know where Kentra was, but he demanded in a nice way … because we were friends. He knew Kentra had the treasure.

A nice, gray-haired elderly lady walked into the room. She was a friend of mine and had been staying in my house. In my dream, I knew her. In real life, I haven’t a clue who she was.

I somehow convinced Matt that I had not heard from Kentra and that I had no idea where she went. Because we were friends, he believed me, and not bothering to check the phone, he and the gang of ruffians left.

I went to the phone to check the messages from Kentra. Finally, I could check them without worry.

They were gone!

I looked at the elderly lady who was standing by the phone. “What happened to the calls?” I screamed.

“I erased them,” the lady said. “I was afraid the gangsters were going to check the phone.”

“But they didn’t! Why did you erase them? Why? Why?” I screamed hysterically at her as I grabbed her by the shirt collar.

About that time, a man walked through the door. I identified him as my boyfriend, and in real life he used to be my boyfriend a very long time ago. He was angry with me because he had been trying to find me. I explained briefly to him the situation. He told me he didn’t understand why I couldn’t have checked in with him. I told him that protecting the treasure was more important.

I didn’t care that he was angry with me.

The phone rang. I ran to it. It was Kentra. I could hear the sound of the car engine as it glided over asphalt. I knew she was still driving, safe with the treasure. I could hear her voice clearly at first. She said she was OK. She assured me she was far away and safe. Then the signal began to fade. The sound broke up. I lost her. I was heartbroken, but at peace at the same time, knowing she was safe and had the treasure with her.

Then I woke up.

Most of the time, I can discern whether my dreams are God-sent or just my crazy imagination. I knew when I awoke this morning that God was trying to tell me something.

Sometimes, God allows me to understand my dreams immediately. Sometimes, He reveals bits and pieces to me over the course of several days or even months. This morning, he let me know in a matter of hours.

I was troubled first that Matt was a gangster. I’ve never, not one single solitary moment in history, thought of Matt as having a bad bone in his body. I love that guy! I love his talents! I love his passion for the Lord! I love the music that comes out of that guitar of his!

And that’s precisely what God was trying to tell me: although Matt is good and talented and worships Him with his music, Matt is not God. Matt is only human, and as much as I love The Next, I should not worship the band but instead I should worship the God for whom the band plays. Amen. That was an easy one to understand.

I then wondered why on earth my ex-boyfriend had to make an appearance in my dream. How weird is that? I remember feeling a little guilty in my dream about not contacting him, but I didn’t feel THAT guilty. I knew protecting the treasure was much more important. God revealed to me that He is the most important thing in – and outside of – the world. God is more important than family, marriage, the past, children, friends, boyfriends, neighbors, community members. God is, was, and will always be, and nobody else is any of those things – ever.

As for Kentra, I was afraid I had lost contact with her forever when her voice began breaking up on the phone in my dream. Was God trying to sever my longtime Spiritual relationship with her? I know she has served as my protecting angel for the past 26 years. Is it time to let her go? That scared me.

“No,” God said. “I’m just reminding you that that I am the treasure. Kentra is safe and has the treasure. Never stop seeking the treasure. Remind Matt and the boys to never stop seeking the treasure. Nothing is more important than the treasure. Seek the treasure, always. You will one day hold it in your hands.”

After God revealed the purpose of this dream to me, He reminded me of something I saw very clearly in my dream, something that broke my heart when I saw it: “35 Missed Calls,” said the telephone’s digital display.

“That’s only a fraction of the times I’ve called you, only a small percentage of the calls you’ve missed from Me,” God said. “But finally I called, and you answered.”

Hey, God, it is always so good to hear your voice.

Psalm 116
(The Message)

I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
“Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”

9-11 I’m striding in the presence of God,
alive in the land of the living!
I stayed faithful, though bedeviled,
and despite a ton of bad luck,
Despite giving up on the human race,
saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”

12-19 What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it together with his people.
When they arrive at the gates of death,
God welcomes those who love him.
Oh, God, here I am, your servant,
your faithful servant: set me free for your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice
and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it in company with his people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house,
in Jerusalem, God’s city.


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