We’ll Always Have Paris…

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid, so life-like, that when you woke up, you felt that you really had been “there”, living it out in the moment?

Did that kind of dream make you wonder if maybe God was trying to speak to you in those moments of vivid details and storyline?

I had a dream like that last night, and it’s rocked my conscience world this morning.

Let me give you the characters:

From my real life world – myself, my husband, my children, and a new friend I met at CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminar) this week.

From the movies - Gérard Depardieu


Now you may be wondering just who IS Gérard Depardieu?  He’s a French actor (click on the link above for more info on him) and his most memorable work here in the U.S. would probably be the movie “Green Card”, though the movie I have with him in it, is Queen Latifah’s Last Holiday.

Oh…and here is a picture for reference:

OK…you have this “cast” of characters in your mind? 

In this dream, my husband, children and I were somewhere in the French countryside touring an ancient castle and the gardens and grounds that surrounded it.  While most people took the garden paths that were laid out for them, we decided to be more adventurous by crossing a bridge, going down into a cellar-like area that seemed at one time to house both carriage & horses and perhaps a dusty wine cellar in a dark corner to the rear.  While Brent and I found that fascinating, the kids didn’t like being down their in the dark and dank. So we quickly found a way out and made our way to the castle.

I do not remember much about the inside of the castle as far as looks, but I remember that Brent and I were invited by the housekeeper to look into a certain room.  The double doors were closed and we could hear quiet voices on the other side.  I told the nice housekeeper that we don’t need to see this room and interrupt the meeting that’s going on.

“Nonsense,” she cheerfully replies.  “I think of all people here touring, you would understand and have more compassion.”

Against my protest, she opens the doors and bids for Brent and I to look inside.

We look around to see that this room is a library, with shelves lining every wall, except one.  On this one wall is a huge panoramic window, almost ceiling to floor, with heavy drapes decorating the sides, soft gauzy panels that float down the middle, filtering soft light inside.

In the middle of that library there is an ornate rich mahogany dinning room table.  A group is seated around the table where they take turns talking in soft tones.  I cannot tell what they are saying and too embarrassed to ask.  After all, I feel like we’re intruding on their discussion and I don’t wish to look nosy or disturb them.

I start to back away, but the housekeeper puts her arm around my waist and drags me with her a little more forward in the room.

“This,” she says with a soft tone,  “Is a grief support group.  A safe place for those need to come and share their hearts.”  She looks Brent and I over and says with a sad smile, “It is always available, if you need it.”
I stat to protest that we’re just fine and don’t need anything like this, and suddenly I’m somewhere totally different.  (You know how dreams do - jumping you from one place to the next. At the time, it seems so seamless in a dream and even makes sense at the time, but when you try to recall it later, it seems awkward and odd.)

I’m now at a huge mall.  The light that is filtering in the main corridors of the mall from the skylights and the fluorescent  lights almost give me a headache.  I’ve never seen anything so bright, clean, and brilliantly white.
It’s at this point, I’m with my new friend and we’re trying to decide how we’ll spend this time at this mall in Paris, France.  We can’t decide what to do first.  It all seems big, intimidating and overwhelming, as if it is too much to take in at once.

I start to feel discouraged that all we’ll do is waste time, when suddenly Gérard Depardieu comes up to us, (I bet you were wondering when he’d come in the picture, didn’t you?), and he’s upset!

“Lay-deez!” he exclaims in a passionate thick French accent.  “Why are you here in the middle of this mall  (he pronounces “mall” with disgust, as he sweeps the place with a big arm gesture), when you could be seeing the BEST that FRANCE has to offer?!?!!"

Now we’re both feeling embarrassed and intimidated.  First an overwhelming mall.  Now an overwhelming, passionate French man.

He gets more agitated and excited.  Flailing his arms about to show us which directions to take, he shouts, “Lay-deez this is PARIS!!  Home of the Louvre!  The Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile! Notre Dame!!”

We look at Gérard, even more frightened than we were before.

Gérard looks at us  in disbelief, like we’re a couple of yahoos who do not have a clue about French art and culture.

“The Eiffel Tower?!?” he sputters in exasperation.

I think I’m gonna cry.

He sees the distress on my face and softens.

“Chérie,” he says softly, catching my hand and the hand of my friend.  He starts to speak again, but something makes him pause.  He seems to be thinking of how to put his next words so we will grasp his passion, but not overwhelm us with it. He squeezes our hands gently.

“Chérie,” he begins again, “Why are you wasting your time in this god-forsaken mall, with it’s trinkets and bobbles, when so MUCH (again gesturing towards the outside, still holding our hands for effect) is waiting for you out THERE?  Paris is a place full of diverse culture, exquisite cuisine  - filled with things to IGNIGHT your passion…not dull your senses like this place.  (He says the word “place” like he wants to spit at the mere mention of the thought.)

“So GO!”  he gestures again, squeezing our hands a little more firmly.  “Go and experience Paris and all she has to offer you and ENJOY!” he exhorts with a chortle.

And the scene suddenly changes again, and now we’re on a highway– still not sure what direction to take, but somehow, we instinctively knew we would get to our destination.

We’re heading to the heart of Paris.

And then I wake up.

Wow.  How many times have I been so afraid to step out into the unknown that I trade the experiences of “Paris” for mere trinkets of safety and a sense of the familiar?

I feel like this past week God handed me a new roadmap, a sense of direction, and a passionate exhortation to go take that “next step” to get out of my comfort zone, and experience a culture and diversity that is totally beyond anything I have experienced before.

No, I’m not necessarily talking about heading to Paris, France.  I’m just saying that I see His exhortation to take the next steps in truly accepting that He wants me to consider myself a Trained Speaker, and that I have been equipped to go out and share the stories and songs He has written over me.

Oh sure, I’ve dabbled in it, held onto it like a pipe-dream.  But to do this for real?  Make deep commitments and pursue it with my whole heart?

Sometimes the thoughts of this makes me giddy. But more often than not, I retreat to the safety of the “mall” – walls I’m familiar with – terms I know and understand – trinkets and bobbles that do not thrill, but pacify (for a time) the restless desire to know God deeper.

It’s time for me to leave the mall.  I don’t know exactly what that means or where I’m headed (much like the ending of my dream), but I know that step by step God will lead me to whatever’s next.

It’s time to put my training into practice.

Au revoir to the old way of thinking!  Bonjour to the new!

Are there defeating thoughts/idols/fears that God is asking you to leave behind?  Want to join me on my “Paris” adventure?  Step out of the familiar my friend, and let’s experience the life He has for us together!


Dawny said...

Thank you Hol for being faithful to share your extraordinary gifts ....I love the story, your c Dawnreative Sing Over Me page and as always your tunes...thanks for including me...See you down the road...Love you, Me Dawny

Unknown said...

That was suppose to be creative page...Woops..I lke the song receiver line too! (at the top)...Dawny

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Feel free to comment, and God bless you! ~ Holly

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