Linville, VA – Sheryl
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt. 11:29)
In my dream a man I knew came to town. He had a large but thin 2’x 1-1/2′ book. The book seemed to be written and illustrated in the 1920’s or 30’s. It was not in good shape and was mostly being used as a folder to hold numerous pencil sketches on art paper. The man had done these sketches or vignettes of city streets and buildings. Some included people and all were very good. One was of the front of a building which he said was on C Street. I couldn’t figure out the city but a large, busy one. The man was trying to sell the sketches for some extra money but was not having any luck. He didn’t seem very interested in pursuing his artistic gift but just in getting some money out of these sketches. Finally, he said he would take it to a burger place and sell them for $8.99 and buy a burger. I said if he was going to do that I would give him $10 for them as I thought they were good, worth more, and would keep trying to market them. The gentleman said, “Sold” and handed them over, book and all.
After looking at the pictures I also began looking at the book. It seemed to be about a man who had lost his job and was trying to get another or somehow make money to support his family. His wife was getting impatient with him. The book also seemed to be in the form of vignettes or short stories, perhaps written to children. I think one of the stories was called “The Red Door.”
The dream shifted to the end of a street overpass with sidewalks over a downtown street. I was observing a man, maybe of oriental descent, who was also an artist. He seemed unfamiliar with and fearful of walking out on this overpass even with the sidewalks but he was very curious about the scene below. People were in the street, going in and out of stores. He held on tightly to the railing and edged just a couple of feet out to look. I think he wanted to capture the scene on paper and felt he would eventually forget about his fear and get out onto the bridge.
Father, I will look for your interpretation. It seems like these might be three illustrations of the same thing like Your parables. Artists or authors were in all three. All three needed to make a living. One wasn’t interested in the artistic talent itself; one was very interested but fearful of venturing out; the writer wrote about an unsuccessful man and his own book was forgotten and used for other purposes. How does this fit together my Lord?
“I give the talents and abilities. Some don’t appreciate what I have given or believe it won’t be enough on which to live the life they want. They may use past achievements as stepping stones but don’t value either their own talent or the work or gifts from the past. Those past works may have benefited the creator or even others of his generation but don’t always survive the test of time or generations whose hearts have grown cold, desires have become jaded, tastes become more exotic. Others have a true curiosity about people and their art and gifts but are slowed down by fears or cultural barriers. There is hope for the timid man if he values My gifts and will rely on Me to show him the way.”
How does this apply to me, Lord? How can I encourage others to use their gifts?
“C Street became just another street in an unknown city. ‘The Red Door’ a chapter in a forgotten book, the book itself discarded and misused. So has My Word become. If people do not live by it and honor it how can they prosper? You are in the timid group. I have given you gifts to share. Do not let fear hinder you, My Word or My love from going forth.”
I don’t always know where I belong or how to use those gifts in new settings and circumstances. Show me the way, Lord. I don’t want to squander Your gifts or let them lie unused and forgotten.
“Rest in Me. Let my Word wash away the lies and negativity. Be renewed in mind and emotions. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted but prepare yourself to minister. Walk with Me. You are a creature of habit. It makes you feel safe, at ease. Don’t allow your comfort to stand in the way of ministry. You don’t want to ignore your gifts or be timid in new situations or both you and My Word will become a dusty memory when hope and healing could be thriving.”