I want to Serve God.  Seeking validation of this goal, I’ve often volunteered to do whatever hard job arose, the ones nobody else would do, whatever someone else asked me—disregarding what the Light might be calling me to do.


I stayed up late making up for my lost time. When I finally got to bed, I couldn’t sleep. My husband christened me The Queen of Insomnia. I’m working on losing that title.  The Light shows me I need sleep even more than I thought. Two reasons come readily to mind—for my health, and dreams can be really important.


My spiritual director suggested I record my dreams years ago. I participated in a dream group for a time, becoming more aware of each dream, and archiving them in a dedicated journal.  Supposedly, I was doing this for self-awareness but God had further plans.


Someone in our meeting was grieving the loss of a beautiful son.  To compel insurance to cover his care during his tortuous illness was a titanic struggle. She was exhausted and torn up with grief.  Usually, she had dreamed about people she had lost.  The absence of such a dream about her son left her even more bereft.


Not long after the tragedy, I asked a friend how this mother was faring. She answered, “Please pray for her. She wants a dream about her son, to know he’s okay.”


“Of course, I’ll pray.” Then I remembered. “Last week I dreamt about him. He was healthy—saying he was able to help.”


My friend urged me to tell her. “I’m worried—she’s not been eating.”


“I barely know her—” I was uneasy.


How would the mother react? What if sharing my dream abraded her raw grief? I prayed, waiting for a way to open. Finally, I felt free to send her an email with a brief synopsis of my dream.


During our email exchange I became more relaxed answering her questions. I had my dream journal for reference. My dream included obscure aspects of this woman’s life, things I couldn’t have known. It felt eerie for me, but this inexplicable quality validated for her that God was afoot in this.


She said that the dream felt like a dart to the heart of healing medicine. As I saw the changes in her, I too believed God was engineering her healing. She began to eat a little and there was color on her cheeks.  We became fast friends.  God may have used the dream to engineer that, too.


Living this experience, I learned the delicate ecology of community.  Every little thing is crucial to our collective health. If it hadn’t been for West Hill’s Friends Meeting, my spiritual director, and my friend who asked me to pray—if not for the mother’s confiding in my friend—how could there be this healing? We must be faithful in small things, so God can do the big things.


There’s my part, too. It was as if God had said, “Claire, see what happens when you take care of yourself and get some sleep? My work gets done!” With Infinite Economy, God helped a heart-broken mother find some peace, and validated me. I’m being healed, too. So, I’m taking better care of my sleep, and writing down my dreams.  They’re important.

—Claire Nail