Today I had a medical appointment with a new specialist. He was very thorough, took a careful history, had already reviewed my hospital notes, etc.
He was asking me about sleep and dreams. He asked about nightmares. Then he asked about hallucinations.
I hesitated. Then I told him the truth.
I do have regular dreams, which I rarely remember. I’ve occasionally had scary dreams which I suppose could be considered nightmares.
And then I sometimes have these “special” dreams, that are very different from regular dreams. They are extremely vivid and detailed, very realistic. And they often feature God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me. I consider them to be religious dreams. They are not scary, and usually are very helpful to my spiritual growth.
Then I looked at the good doctor and said, “I suppose there are some people who would consider these to be hallucinations, but I don’t. I consider them a gift from God.”
I tried to read the good doctor’s face. His expression did change, ever so slightly, even though he was trying very hard not to let it.
“What was he thinking?” Was he going to check the “YES” box under Hallucinations?
I could tell that he was thinking about it.
He quickly resumed his best poker-face, and I couldn’t tell whether he checked the box “yes” or “no.”
I’m not afraid of the judgement of people about my relationship with God. But I do wonder whether that’s something that’s going to make it into his notes as a “medical condition” that needs to be “treated.”
To be clear, those “special” dreams are very rare – and memorable. It’s not an evil demon by which I’m possessed. Like, I don’t hear “God” telling me to kill people or anything like that. Often when it does happen, it just really clarifies something I was already praying about anyway.
Will the good doctor recommend drugs to make my visits from God go away? I hope not. I know I can always request a second opinion.
In the end, God is my 2nd opinion.