By LORRAINE V. MURRAY, Commentary | Published October 5, 2023
As a little girl, I had a dream about a boy whom I’d never met before. In the dream, we were the perfect match, absolutely kindred spirits, and we connected with a deep, fervent and purely innocent love. I had never loved anyone the way I loved this boy in the dream, and I was filled with a newfound joy.
When I woke up, I cried, because the dream had been so real, and for months, I missed this boy I’d never met. All these years later, I’ve never forgotten him. Surely, I thought, I will meet him again in another dream, but I never did.
Some children are starved for love, even though they live with their parents in a fine house, get a good education and never go to bed hungry. The parents are well-meaning, but never learned how to give the child a deep sense of being loved. Their own parents also provided all the necessities, but failed when it came to love.
Children like this will do what they can to please their parents, hoping love will come from their achievements. In my case, I made sure my report card would be studded with gold stars, knowing even an A minus would be seen as a failure. I can attest that children who work hard to please adults will have a tough time believing God loves them. Parents are the first ones to show a child what love means, so God may seem distant and somewhat cold.
The night my husband died, he showed up in a dream to assure me he had “many pearls.” This, I knew, referred to the pearl of great price Jesus talked about, which was heaven. In other dreams, I’d try my best to explain to him that he had died. But I soon gave up, because he was so clearly alive in the dreams, and it was impossible to convince him.
My parents died when I was 29 and they also appear in my dreams fairly regularly. It all seems so ordinary, as we’ll be heading to the beach or taking a trip somewhere. Often, I’m the only one in the family who misses the train, gets to the airport late, or leaves her luggage in a hotel. I’m also the only one whose cell phone stops working when it’s most needed.
Dreams in the Bible come with significant messages. An angel tells St. Joseph in a dream the child Mary is carrying is of divine origin. In another dream, he’s told to take her and the baby to Egypt to avoid Herod’s bloody plans. When Jesus is arrested, the wife of Pontius Pilate sends her husband a message, warning him that Jesus is a righteous man. “I suffered much in a dream because of him.”
One night in a dream, I was in a dark, frightening place and called for my husband to help me. He appeared out of the darkness and took me in his arms and hugged me. Many would say, “Oh, it’s just a dream,” but it was like a reunion with him.
That little boy I loved so dearly in my childhood dream never showed up again. But I did think about him many times as I grew up, and pondered the mystery of his identity. In real life, I’ve never experienced such an all-encompassing, totally accepting love. What message was there for me in this dream?
One day, early in the morning, just as I’d awakened, I knew who that mystery boy was. He was not like any human being I’d ever encountered, so there’s only one explanation possible. I believe I will meet this boy someday, but not on this earth. You see, I believe he was Jesus, filling all the empty spaces of my heart with his eternal love.