I dream every night and every morning I remember upwards of five or six dreams. I’ve always been that way, the owner of a mind that meanders freely down the dark streets of night. My dreams range from the bizarre to the completely mundane, but this dream was so specific.
I dreamed that a friend hennaed stars on my feet, twelve stars to be exact. I woke up recalling every word of the dream, every stitch of clothing, every detail right down to the conversations we had.
A few days later, I sat in church while the pastor taught about the blessings in the book of Revelation. My heart stopped at this verse:
“A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Revelation 12:1
Wait, what??? I snapped to attention because, let’s face it, my mind
sometimes wanders in church. Did the pastor say 12 stars? I flicked to the right page of my Bible on my phone. Sure enough. A crown of 12 stars. Who was this great and wondrous sign of a woman?
Over the next few days I did a little digging and found that some people think she represents Israel, God’s chosen nation. Others think she represents purity and still other Biblical scholars think she represents motherhood.
As I studied I had to laugh because the meanings are so opposite of me. Pure? Not really. I fight to tame my tongue every single day. Motherly? Not even close. This uterus is a No Baby Zone.
The only part I could relate to was being like Israel. In fact, I could relate to that part big time, being chosen in spite of my stubborn nature, loud mouth and a gazillion other less than desirable qualities. In fact that sounds a lot like me, a sometimes petulant nation loved beyond measure and mercy. Yep, I fit that description well.
I told my henna artist friend, the one from the dream, all about my dream stars and she offered to come down and henna a blessing on my feet. A few days passed and our schedules never matched up.
Until. There’s always an until, isn’t there? I let the dozen stars fade into the recesses of my mind until last Sunday at church again when the pastor read Psalm 147:4.
“He counts the stars and calls them all by name.”
There were those stars again. I had a little moment with God.
Seriously, God, what is it with these stars? What am I not getting? I have conversations like that a lot with God, wherein I am dense.
I asked another dear friend if she’d henna my dream stars onto my feet. I’ve known this woman since she was a teenager and I was a young adult volunteering with her Friday Night Live chapter. She’s creative and kindhearted and I’m filled with love for her every time I see her. She’s grown into an amazing woman and last night as she sat on my patio telling me about upcoming job interviews and painting stars on my feet, I was filled with pride. I couldn’t love her more if she were my own. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve got a smidge of motherly tendencies in me after all.
People ask me all the time if I’m afraid to go to Uganda. I’m not. No, really, I’m not. Trust me, I’m as shocked as you are. I’m anxious about little things like making sure I remember to take my anti-malarial pills and making sure I don’t miss any of my connecting flights. But I’m surprisingly not scared of much else.
And it’s because of those stars.
I feel chosen to work with the kids at in Uganda, chosen to be the one who helps them tell their stories. That’s not a privilege I take lightly. I know that the God who counts the stars and calls them by name walks with me in this work.
I’m so excited about the work and the stories and the things that I’ll learn from these children that there’s just no room for fear.
There’s only room for stars, both in my dreams and darkening on my feet.