Fishing the River of my Roots

A few weeks ago we had a Sunday “snow day”. While our Colorado Saturday was in the 50’s, overnight the temperature dropped 30-40 degrees and we awoke to a blanket of heavy snow. While the snow was not deep enough to cancel worship services, you tend to wonder how many folks will show up.

On this particular Sunday we had invited a Kingdom Moment testimony from our intern Jessica Harcarik. Jessica shared a “picture” she had seen while shadowing one of my coaching huddles with pastors earlier in the week. She shared about seeing what appeared to be a bottle breaking over the computer screen pouring anointing oil over those gathered in our virtual conference room. As she shared this picture of blessing, my thoughts went to Psalm 133:

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Maybe it was Jessica’s testimony, or maybe it was the sudden change in the weather – but when I got up to share the message on that Sunday morning, I felt led to put aside my notes and save them for another day. Instead of sharing the prepared message, I shared about a dream that I had experienced a few days before that didn't seem to make much sense until just a few moments before.

In the early morning a few days before, I awoke from a dream where I saw myself standing on the north side of the property that I had grown up on as small child. I saw myself standing in West Olive, MI not far from a large beech tree that was on a hill in the middle of the property overlooking a gulley. I recall that the gulley was low and would get a bit mucky after a heavy rain. As a result, it was a perfect habitat for all kinds of bugs and mosquitoes. My parents had provided a piece of this property to each of us five kids many years ago, and about 7 years into our marriage, Elyse and I built a house on the property not far from the beech tree.

In the dream, I saw myself standing outside the back door of the house we had built and I was looking down into the gulley. But when I looked, the gulley was transformed – instead of a low mucky area, what I saw was a rushing river. As I walked closer, I saw that the river was wider than I had first thought, and that there were several fisherman casting their flies upon the water. Since I enjoy fly-fishing, I recall feeling a bit taken aback that I had missed this prime fishing location right outside my back door. In fact, I even felt a bit frustrated that all these anglers were fishing in “my stream”. As I awoke from the dream, I realized that I didn’t recall witnessing anyone catch a fish.

On that snowy Sunday morning, I began to sense that the picture in my dream was a gift for me and for us. That the river of God’s grace and blessing is running right outside our back door, and we often don’t see it. And even when we know it is there, we are too distracted to wade into the water, to study the rocks and ripples, let alone pay attention to the particular delicacies that the trout hovering just below the surface are scooping up as they seek to meet their needs. As I shared this dream, the words from Revelation 22:17 came to mind:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!”

Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

The picture in this dream took me to my roots: my Michigan roots, my faith roots passed on to me by my parents, and my covenant roots as a beloved child in the family of God - Roots that encourage me to open my eyes to see what God sees; Roots that invite me to be present and step forward with faith into the water; Roots of abiding in the Holy Spirit and sensing the countless clues of our surroundings that cause us to cast upon the water and invite God’s many children to draw near to the Kingdom of Heaven.

I am sensing that a season of casting upon the water and of harvest is coming. Come!

Celebrating the Journey!

Jeff Allen

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