Last night I had a dream in which I was with a couple of laymen trying to save someone in the middle of immense and quickly rising flood waters. We were standing on some underwater wreckage in which this soul had been snagged.
It was like someone bid me to look over my shoulder. There was a bishop, alone, near us, but also impossibly too far away, standing in the midst of the strongest currents of the flood. He was in full regalia, head gear, cope (most extraordinarily embroidered), with well used crosier and gloves for this most solemn occasion of witnessing to Christ.
He was, despite the violent currents enveloping him in mere seconds, immovable, standing tall, with a face of determination, zero fear, never wavering, looking straight forward, though we were surely within the peripheral vision of his overseeing, his episcopacy. He was there to protect us in whatever way he could, though he surely knew he was presently laying down his life for his friends, from one second to the next.
As the waters immediately rose presently over his face…
- I… was… aghast…
As the waters immediately rose presently over his face he was drowned without a struggle and, collapsing beneath the waters, was swept away, already dead, though alive in Christ Jesus.
I woke up at that point, of course… just… devastated… I saw his face clearly but I didn’t recognize him at all, perhaps because he was not necessarily any particular bishop, but rather a representative of any good shepherd being done in by the powers that be, by the powers that foment heresy, schism, apostasy, the flood vomited by Satan, the ancient serpent, the great dragon.
This bishop’s death was no sign of weakness, no sign of failure. Such stalwart followers of Jesus conquer by not running away, but by remaining to protect, to “oversee” those who also follow Jesus. Yet, it is heart wrenching to see a good bishop taken out, washed away, cancelled.
I recall another stalwart bishop:
He also was swept away in the flood of faithlessness and brought to a most violent death by the powers that be.
Perhaps I shouldn’t pay attention to dreams. But it kinda gutted me…