Posted February 06, 2015:
A Dream About Rags

by Carol Campbell, a former working guest.

During a recent visit to Madonna House, I was working with a staff worker tearing up worn-out clothing and household linens to make rags. That night I had a dream.

In the dream I was tearing fabric as I had done that day. I was watching the staff worker and saw how present her heart was to such an insignificant task. Love was flowing from her as she worked.

Then I saw all the ways in which rags get used—disinfecting things, dusting objects and surfaces, polishing things, wiping up messes, and more. Then I saw staff workers and guests going out to all parts of the world and spreading God’s love. End of dream.

When I woke up, I reflected on the dream. I thought about how those rags had once been something considered more valuable and important.

Perhaps they had been nice-looking clothes that made the people who wore them feel attractive or even beautiful. Maybe they had been a pair of pyjamas or a sheet that gave someone warmth and comfort as he slept. Maybe they had been curtains that enhanced the décor of someone’s home and kept out the dark at night.

Now they were lowly rags tossed into a box waiting to be used for some lowly and insignificant purpose.

I thought of how we human beings like to see ourselves as fulfilling useful and significant purposes. We like to be seen as valuable in the eyes of others. When we love someone, we want to be loved in return. We want to be seen as beautiful to others, and to receive praise and recognition for a job well done.

We tend to think those are the things that give us value and worth. Then we lose someone we love, or someone we love doesn’t love us back. We lose the job that gave us recognition; maybe even our home where we felt safe and secure. We feel torn up into insignificance, just like a rag.

But if we have the courage and humility to live in God’s presence under his loving gaze, we become transformed. We become emptied of self and receive God’s love in place of our "important" self-image.

We accept our emptiness and lowliness and come to see ourselves as beloved daughters and sons of God and realize that nothing in this world can change that, no matter how many times we are torn up.

We become clothed in his beauty; held in his warmth and comfort; and the light of his love invades our darkness and begins to shine forth.

Then we are sent out into the world as rags in God’s hands to spread his love, safe and secure in our home in his heart.


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