Dreams and Nightmares: Prayers to the Father

Now. I. Lay. Me. Down. To. Sleep.

In the beginning, Father created.

The mutation of Father found me. Something wasn’t real. Something was. Something had to have been.

Closer and closer and closer and closer… Gravity proved strong. Resistance was futile. Darkness pulled. Strength subsided. Mine eyes had seen the glory of eternity. Mine ears had heard the words of tomorrow. Mine skin had felt the promise of tomorrow. Where was I going?

Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your everything come.
Your will be done,
One earth as it is in heaven.
Give me all that I need;
And forgive me where I have failed you,
As I forgive those who have failed me;
Lead me not into temptation,
But deliver me from evil.
For you are Father, now and forevermore.

Euphoria stalked me. Work didn’t matter. Father was elsewhere. I just had to get there. I just had to get to the church on time. I was in so deep. I couldn’t see. I just had to go.

War is the beginning. War is the end. Father banished evil. Since then, evil has roamed the known and the unknown seeking whom it may devour. Something is amongst us. Something is in us. Something is out there. The battle roars. Can you feel it? Father is supposed to win. How can we be so sure?

Every step was so heavy. Hesitation gripped my soles. The church was just ahead. I didn’t know what I was seeing. I grabbed the handle. The handle grabbed me. In less than a moment, I saw it all.

War raged. Should I go? I chose the path less traveled. Fear would not hold me back. I chose.

We were so excited. The lights went out. I was prepared for my life to be changed. It was, immediately. The screen promised me everything. Beautiful community. Magical colors. Bountiful provisions. The invitation sealed it. Father sealed it.

I was determined to be on the next flight.

Father is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Father leads me to paradise.
Father restores my soul;
Father shows me the meaning of life.
Though I walk through darkness, I will not fear any evil:
Father is with me;
Father comforts me.
Father created paradise for me;
Love runs over;
Surely, the love of Father will follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell with Father forever and ever.

I was. I did. I will.

The entire world saw my decomposition.

Warp speed. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. Time and space became a blur. Things began to shift. Something happened. Everything happened.

I shot bolt upright. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know where I was. Sirens rang out. Then, I remembered.

Now. I. Lay. Me. Down. To. Sleep.

(Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood is a Baptist pastor, theologian and activist living and working in North Carolina. Dr. Hood’s extensive work has appeared in numerous media outlets, including in the Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Los Angeles Times, WIRED magazine and on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR. He writes regularly at http://revjeffhood.com/. His previous article for the jonestown report is The Theology of Jonestown: Radical Explorations in Redemption. His other articles in this edition are Phenomenology / Healing & Rev. Jim Jones, God is not silent, and Microphones Ain’t Antennas. He can be reached at jeffrey.k.hood@gmail.com.)