I am a dreamer. No, not the ‘head in the clouds’ type, but one who dreams the dreams God gives. As a result, there is a verse I have come to love as the Holy Spirit visits me in the sleeping hours:
“I slept, but my heart was awake.” Song of Solomon 5:2
Such was the case not quite two weeks ago when I awakened again out of a very ‘real’ dream.
There was content before and after, but it was the message in the middle that was the wake-up call.
I was in an opulent lobby of a hotel. It was large and Las Vegas’ish yet I knew the place was in downtown Spokane, Washington (the city where I live) even while the setting reminded me more of my birthplace’s downtown. It was present day with the “me” in the dream matching the current “me.”
Preparing to depart the hotel, my thought in the dream was that it was quite beautiful. But I knew that was not where my husband and I were staying; I was leaving to head over to our hotel to meet up with him. (Why didn’t I just go home? Such is the nature of a dream!) With eagerness and a little bounce in my step, I descended the hotel’s broad front steps to the sidewalk.
Turning right I strolled the short distance to the street corner while observing the activity and conversation of traffic and pedestrians going on around me. Turning right again at the intersection, my gaze was directed across the street at building after building of four and five-story restaurants.
I continued walking down the length of this city block on the opposite side of the street taking note: Every restaurant was completely glass-fronted. Every level was nothing but windows, and most surprising to me was that every floor in every one of the restaurants was absolutely packed. There was not a single empty table to be had.
I remember thinking how prized it must be to snag one of the window tables – and how impossible. One would have to wait a long time in line to score such a seat.
The plated meals could be clearly seen through the windows. The diners were animated, enjoying their fusion fare. Every restaurant offered a unique cuisine, tastefully presented but looking like something a dieter would order. Small portions, artfully presented. Very urban; “like Seattle,” I thought. (I live on the east side of our state, not known for its trendiness…)
But, I had to admit the food did look good! I made a mental note to tell my husband there were some new places in town to go for dinner since we do enjoy dining out together.
As I reached the end of the city block, I turned around and began to stroll back the way I had come. This time my gaze was turned left and slightly upward, focused on the building I was walking alongside.
It was an old “mom and pop” diner. You know…the kind that serves home-cooked meals with hearty servings. Real food, wholesome and satisfying, with your coffee cup never running dry. The diner, similar to a train car, also ran the length of the city block and sat atop a concrete foundation about six feet high.
“Interesting that this is sitting just opposite of all those trendy new restaurants!” I thought to myself. The location of this block was not the nicest part of town, and I had noticed that the new restaurants were occupying the really old buildings that had been there for decades, now refurbished.
The windows of the diner were dusty and filmed over. There didn’t appear to be much activity. I realized why as I reached the front edge of the diner near the intersection. In the corner of the first dusty window was a small, tattered-edge placard that read “Closed.”
Now, not only was my heart awake, but I was too. My heart yearned for the diner; I was intimately connected with it. I knew in it would be served meals of substance and plenty. Meat, not cocktails.
The message was unmistakable; those who have ears to hear let them hear.
Just like Jesus, those who live in the royalty realm of heaven brought down to earth “will not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
We have a diner. It is called Shammahs Field LLC / Shammah Ministries. It too sits at an intersection where you look up to see it on the second floor. It is situated on a firm foundation – the Solid Rock.
There, first we partake then we serve.
Our diner is “Open.” We’ll even save a window seat for you.
With awakened hearts,
Wayne & Nancy Bentz
Mr. & Mrs. Shammah