Last night I had a dream: during my travels to some far away place, I had the pleasure of meeting two fairies and an elf along the way. It seemed that I’d somehow shrunk to the size of a quarter (or a 500 yen coin) because everything towered above me: books, pencils, plants, everything. Libraries are usually cavernous places already so entering this one in my dream felt like entering a galaxy. Suddenly, right ahead of me was a giant shoe with a doorway at its heel – it was an entrance with a sign that read “To: Falling.” Mesmerized by this giant shoe-looking building (or was it literally a shoe?!), I entered. A professor with grey hair and a radiant smile immediately greeted me. I’d never met a fairy professor before! “Why hello there,” chuckled the Professor. I looked around – no signs of this place being an actual shoe. Just rows and rows of desks surrounded by rows and rows of books. I surmised this was where the professor taught. “Why does the sign read “To: Falling””, I asked hastily. I had somewhere to be but I was genuinely curious. “Because I fell in love with someone who doesn’t love me back,” said the Professor, smiling as he said this. “I was potentially headed toward a relationship, but it did not come to be. Hence, I was headed to a fall, but I didn’t know it then.” “Oh,” I said, somewhat regretting I’d asked for I did not want to be a reminder of pain. He sensed my discomfort. “Don’t worry dear,” he said reassuringly. “So, how are you able to remain this happy despite your rejection?” “Because I gave love another chance,” he said. “Life is too short to regret anything. The truth is, these things are always scary – especially when you allow yourself to be vulnerable – but you know what’s scarier? Regret. It hurts now, but when I’m lying on my deathbed, I don’t want to be lying there telling myself I should’ve told her…I don’t want to be lying there wondering if she felt the same.” I smiled. He was right. Sometimes the very thing that scares us is what sets us free. We need only trust and let go of that voice of fear. I’d thanked the professor for his warmth and words of wisdom, then went on my way. Before I left, he graciously took my photo in front of this gigantic shoe.
Shortly after my visit to the giant shoe, I tripped over some fallen apples onto a bed of red mushrooms. Apparently I was allergic to them because I turned red all over! It burned so I decided to go to a hospital. When I entered one, I asked for help, after which I was greeted by a lovely, enthusiastic, young fairy – the nurse to attend to my mushroom-inflicted rash(?). She led me to her office for some questions before she could fix me. The door to her office read: “From: Falling.” Interesting, I thought. Now this one reads “From.” Before the nurse fairy spoke, I asked, “Why does the sign read “From: Falling?”” “Because many years ago, I made some mistakes, I let go of someone, and now I feel that pang of regret. I came from a relationship. I feel like he could’ve been all I’ve ever wanted.” She paused with a stillness that made the whole world still, and then she sighed. “But life isn’t a fairy tale. He didn’t go after me,” she said, almost in tears, though still managed to smile. “Of course, after how I was, it was to be expected. Still, I hung onto some hope. Or maybe I was just in denial. Ironic isn’t it? I am a fairy, and yet that term – fairy tale – is an irony to me.” I grew sad. I began to think of what I should say to console her and genuinely wondered if she was going to be okay. I think these fairies have super powers because she read my mind and gleefully chirped, “Of course I’m going to be fine. This is my cross for now but I know God will raise me up and that He has other and greater plans for me,” she said with a thunderous conviction. “Whenever I hear voices of self-doubt, I tell them this: I am loved beyond any earthly person or thing could ever love me. I know that I will bear the fruits of only placing my hope in the Lord; that this is a time of refinement and building my relationship with Him even more and even stronger.” I was moved by her faith, that despite her personal affliction, she radiated joy, passion, hope. That despite her present trial, she knew one day she would conquer it. That day, unfortunately, wasn’t today, she said, but she did conquer my mushroom burns with some magic herb potion. After, I thanked her vehemently – for fixing me and for inspiring me. This fairy, truly, was a beautiful example of Christ.
I continued on my journey. The scenes changed, the colors swirled, the sky opened – you know, those haphazard dream transitions – and then I suddenly found myself regular-sized again.
As I was walking through an enchanted forest – the trees talking to one another about planes and gossipy animals (which they hated apparently) – I heard a faint sound of music beginning to fill the air. Where was it coming from? I asked the trees if they could be silent for a quick minute so I could decipher its source. They seemed annoyed but they cooperated. I was able to pinpoint it and followed the sound. I knew I was getting nearer because the sound grew louder and louder until I found myself amid a sea of people rocking to the sweet beats. I turned my head and there was an elf sitting alone at the back by the trees. I wondered if he was okay so I walked over to him. Before I could ask if he was okay, I noticed that his shirt read: “In: Falling.” So first I asked if he was okay, and then I asked why his shirt read that sign. “I’ve been better,” the elf said. “And it’s because I am in love with someone who always breaks my heart.” His eyes said it all, even if he didn’t say anything at all. Something told me that he was tired…tired of bending over backwards for this person he loved only to feel unloved and unappreciated. “See that girl over there playing the drums?” He pointed to the radiant beauty who’s responsible for these buttery sounds, fiercely striking each beat as if it were her last. “Her?” I confirmed. He nodded. “Yeah she’s amazing!!! I’ve always wanted to be a drummer!” I exclaimed. “She’s the one I love, the one that breaks my heart. Hence this shirt – I’m constantly “in” the falling of a relationship with her, a seemingly sinking ship if you will, wondering if I should save myself and abandon it or die engulfed by this ship I love so much.” I felt bad. I didn’t mean to be insensitive. “Don’t feel bad, really,” he smiled, consoling me. Yup, elves had powers too. I couldn’t help but think of Jean Grey from X-Men in that moment. Her power is reading minds after all! The elf continued: “Isn’t it ironic how she brings me both into the brightest of days and the darkest of nights? That she is the only one who can put back together my broken heart, but that it was her who broke it in the first place.” I was in that pickle again. What do I say? How can I make him feel better? True, humans like me don’t exactly know how to deal with an elf’s melancholy, but I wish I did! And again, with the mind-reading, he said reassuringly, “You don’t have to say anything. Your mere presence is enough. Sometimes, a loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well intentioned words.” I was moved. His words reminded me of a wise doctor – Dr. Rachel Remen – who said those exact words. “I hope one day she will know what she does to me, but I know I can’t change her. I do believe that where I can’t, God can…the question is if I am meant to stay for that change or not. We shall see,” he smiled. “Thank you for sharing something so deep with me,” I told the elf, humbled by his openness. “Thank you for caring,” he said in response. It was getting dark so I had to get going, but I told the elf I would pray for him and his deepest intentions. He tipped his imaginary hat in gratitude and wished me safe travels.
As I walked towards the setting, purple sun – leaving as I was leaving – pondering about all the people (or shall I say creatures?) I’ve met and all that I’ve learned, I thanked God for this journey. I never reached my destination – wherever that was – but often, we learn far more from our journey than our destination. This journey taught me the many ironies of love, and that it doesn’t matter what you are – love is love in many forms. Love transcends culture and kind, and so does heartache.
Picture from petalsarefalling.tumblr.com