In April 1987, I dreamed that I was being “called” and that I would have to give up my life to accept the call. If giving up my life was a metaphor, I was ready to go anywhere, so I got down on my knees and offered my life to Jesus. I wrote in my journal that I wished I knew whether I was doing the right thing and whether Jesus was in my life.
That night, I had a dream: Jesus was standing at a long, wooden refectory-type table in an old-fashioned sort of restaurant-inn at the crossroads (one storied, long and low). I was among a group of people seated around the table listening as he spoke. We were in a long eating room with a door that opened to a country-like path or crossroads. It was warm and summery. If there was food or drink at the table, it wasn’t visible. I could hear Jesus’ voice as he spoke but didn’t remember on waking what He said. At one point, Jesus turned and looked down at me with a huge smile. He had beautiful, white, even teeth.
The dream reassured me of Jesus’ presence in my life and seemed to affirm I was being called, but there was nothing to indicate what I was supposed to do next.
Eighteen months later, I still had no idea of my calling, but one night I felt strongly led to go to church the next Sunday. I wanted to go to a Quaker church because I’d read a book with a Quaker character I admired, so I went to the nearest, Tigard Friends. Mike and Erica were visiting Tigard Friends that day, and Mike was the guest speaker. He talked about West Hills Friends, the church that would replace Maplewood Friends. I spoke to Mike after the meeting, and before long Jesse and I were going to Maplewood.
I told Mike about the dream after I’d been attending a few months, and he wondered what I thought it meant. I wasn’t sure except that it was a “calling” dream.
Sometime in 1989 or 1990, we decided to start a spiritual sharing group, and Mike asked us to give the group a name. Imagery from the dream came back to me, along with the name Gathering Along the Way. Everyone liked the name, so that’s what we called the small group that became an instrument of healing for me.
A year or so later, Mike spoke about trying to find an image that represented West Hills, and the image that kept coming to him was a table where all are welcome. He mentioned our potlucks and “coffee houses” and times of sharing around tables. This struck me, but I still didn’t see.
Derek came to West Hills in 1990 and was soon writing and performing songs. One morning in the early 90s, as I listened to “Come to the Table” for the first time, I was covered in chills. I finally saw that the Table in my dream was here, at West Hills, and that I hadn’t needed to know where to go to find it. All I had needed to do was follow the Light.