One day I had a dream, and this is what I dreamt… I saw a small child named Boy, who had two older sisters, Orderly and Care-Free. He was walking along Tradition Drive with his family. The road intersected Intolerant Way. Here he met Snicker and Mockery, who were not minding their own business.
The two looked at Boy and his family. They ridiculed them for wore different clothing and for speaking a different language; for being not like Snicker and Mockery. Boy was injured in this confrontation and started to use a crutch called Bad-Temper. Along his journey Boy began to rely on Bad-Temper more frequently, and soon it became part of him.
Some time had passed, I saw Boy as a young man, perhaps just a youth. A handsome lad? Not really. Boy was walking along a different road that ran along side Tradition Drive, this one also intersected Intolerant Way, but Boy did not stop this time to speak with the travellers who journeyed there.
Just past the conjunction Boy came across an old leather-bound Book. Up ahead he saw the House of Direction, a candle in the night caught his attention. He knocked on the big wooden door and stepped back, waiting for an answer. He knocked again, stepped back again and waited. After the third knock The Director opened the door, peered out and said, “I have been waiting for you. Come in and sit.”
Boy entered the big house and sat on a hard, backless stood. “What is this place?”
“The House of Direction,” the old man said.
“Direction to where?”
The Director looked at Boy and pondered for a few minutes. He paced the room before he answered, “Come,” he walked to the window on the far side. “Look,” he pointed to a Hill with three crosses. Beyond the Hill was another house, this one shone in the night and in the day.
Boy stood up to get a better view. Before he joined the Director at the window he looked back at the stool. On the stool was one engraved word, “LINGER”. He looked at the soft chair next to the stool; it read “RELATIVITY”. The last seat was a comfortable sofa chair. It had a lever on the side to recline the back. This one also had a word, and it read, “GO”.
“That is strange,” Boy remarked.
The Director explained, “Linger in tradition and you will become uncomfortable. If you become relative to the world’s standards you will become uneasy. But when you hear the Spirit say, “GO!”, will you heed His calling or fall asleep and remain?”
Boy thought on this and took the question with him for the remainder of his journey.
“If you do heed the calling you will find your way to the Hill with three crosses,” the Director continued. “There you must choose your crutch, Bad-Temper, or take up your cross, called His-Yoke, which is lighter and easy to carry.”
“Where do I go from there?” Boy asked the old man.
“To the House of Interpretation. There you will receive further instruction and training in order that you may reach the goal. There is only one road that leads from that house.”
Boy left the House of Direction and headed for the Hill. The Valley of the Shadow of Death surrounded the Hill with three crosses. Boy hesitated when he reached its edge. “I must go through,” he told himself. “I must.”
“Seriously?” Mockery was sitting on the bench called ‘My Way’.
“I was directed to go this way,” Boy explained.
“Not a chance, Boy. Do you not see everything you will leave behind? Too much will be asked of you.” Mockery laughed. It was not a joyous laugh, but a wicked one with the hint of deceit.
“I must go, for Bad-Temper shall no longer be my crutch. I must.”
As Boy spoke with Mockery a Dove of brilliant white light swooped over them and landed on Bad-Temper. Boy looked at the Dove and felt his crutch tremble in fear. The Dove looked at Boy and beckoned him to continue down into the Valley.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you!” Boy heard the words in his heart.
With newfound courage Boy walked down into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He walked through fire; he walked through rain; he walked through darkness. The Dove lifted up and shone the way for Boy to travel.
At the Hill with the three crosses Boy become tired. Bad-Temper was becoming too burdensome to carry on anymore. With his other hand Boy held the Book close to his chest. The Dove alighted on the middle Cross. As stained with blood as it was, this Cross was the only one that caught Boy’s attention.
Boy fell on his face at the foot of the Cross and prayed for the promise of an easy burden. Bad-Temper fell away from his hand and a cross fell around Boy’s neck, like a necklace.
“Welcome, my child,” a Voice said from above the Cross. “Take My yoke. Go now, and heed My calling.” On the other side of the Hill new light shone through the Valley. The Dove led the way again. This road was called ‘His Way’.
His Way seemed more difficult to travel, but His-Yoke and the Dove helped along the way. Here Boy met Regret and Turn-Back. The two travellers followed Boy until he got to the House of Interpretation.
As Boy entered the house his two companions waited outside, knocking on the windows, calling out, “Let us in! Let us in!”
The Interpreter showed Boy many wonders, gleaned from teachings of the Book. Boy left behind his family long ago, and remained in this House to learn. One day he would join his family along His Way, or they him. There are times when every man, woman and child has to travel the road alone. The Dove will always remain to urge them forward, the Cross calling them hither and His Voice calling them thither.
My personal spiritual journey is a complicated one. I grew up in a Christian home, attended church, my parents read the Bible, prayed with us, and they encouraged my sisters and me to do the same. But that is where it seems to end, right at the beginning.
If I had to use metaphorical names for people and situations in my life, from how I went from my parents’ faith to claiming my faith as my own to how am today, in the style of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress the above is how I would tell my story.
This was originally for a class assignment for an English literature elective course in fall of 2016.
Several weeks ago I posted this story in The Unwarranted Bachelor as part of my journey in and out of depression. I posted it here as well as part of the collection of my creative writing.