Saturday, 17 June 2017 11:35

Grace Hotel

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti

Ease feels foreign--and suspicious.~Julia Cameron

In the dream I found myself driving hundreds of miles with no breaks.  I drove so fast, I couldn't discern the territory I passed.  I became exhausted and couldn't keep my foot on the accelerator.  I nodded off, my chin slumping to my chest.  Then I jerked awake, terrified to discover that I wasn't in my lane.  I slapped my cheek and said, "You've got to keep driving.  Go on."  There was no thought of pulling over and resting.  Onward I drove, confused and growing more desperate with each mile.  Where was I headed?  Finally, I followed a road that led to an expansive grove of trees and a sign that plainly announced my destination: "ROAD ENDS."  

I awakened, only to drift back to sleep and dreamed again.  This time I found myself in the crowded hallway of a hotel.  People pushed and shoved each other attempting to get to their rooms.  I didn't know where I was going.  I simply allowed myself to be jostled along by the mass of people.  Suddenly a tall man who stood well above the other people tapped me on the shoulder.  He handed me a room key and said, "There is a room waiting for you on the fifth floor. Go there now.  The room is yours for as long as you need it."  I took the key and rode an elevator to floor five.  When I unlocked the door to the room, I noted this was no ordinary lodging.  As I walked through the suite, I discovered a sitting area with a comfortable chair and ottoman where I could relax and think.  A study contained a desk that overlooked a balcony.  A computer was there for my use.  And a leather bound journal sat on the desk, filled with fresh, unlined pages for me to fill.  I opened the sliding glass door and stepped onto a balcony enclosed with an ornate, wrought iron enclosure.  One chair and a side table awaited my presence.  I looked out over the wide expanse of ocean and breathed in the aromatic salty essence of the sea.

I woke suddenly, still enveloped in the beauty of that room.  "God, what do these dreams mean?" I grabbed by journal to capture the details.  

I believe that God was again tutoring me in the truth of grace and His thoughts toward me.  The first dream captured the ugliness of self-effort and perfectionism--literally "driving" myself to the point of exhaustion--not giving myself a break to rest--self-effort that landed me in a destination that eneded in futility.  All that effort for nothing.  I often think this way.  It's up to me to "just keep going."  "Don't stop," I say.  "If you stop, you'll lose out, you'll get behind and never catch up."  This is often the voice of our culture that demands more and more and more.  A dogmatic voice that insists on striving and perfectionism.  

God's voice is not like this.  His voice is encouraging, kind, loving, supportive.  His voice invites rest and peace.  In dream symbology, five is the number for grace.  I sense this dream was intended as a message from Him that I step away from the road to nowhere and enter the luxury suite of the Grace Hotel.  It is often in this unrepressed geography and latitude that we relax and begin to think more positively and regroup.  As we take our ease, we gain strength and courage for the tasks He has called us to. Creativity and perspective is renewed.  Joy returns.  Our creator knows we need this opulent space, and invites us to stay as long as we need.  

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.