More than a decade ago, I dreamed my husband and I were the only customers in a dimly lit shop. We entered a small cave-like alcove in which were displayed exquisitely lovely and colorful pieces of expensive-looking jewelry. I selected a tiny butterfly pin and took it out to the cashier, a young woman. She rang it up, I paid with a credit card, and she handed me a receipt for $0.00. It had to be a mistake, but she insisted I take the receipt.
The following day, my husband and I were standing in a check-out line at Whole Foods when I noticed the register was subtracting prices instead of adding them up. I said to him, “This feels really familiar” as the cashier, a young woman, continued ringing up our items, unaware of the problem. I paid with our credit card, and was handed a receipt for a negative amount —$220.00. I pointed out the error and a manager was sent for who, after nearly half-an-hour attempting to correct the problem, declared that in all her years working there she had never seen anything like this. The computer, which was working just fine again, had simply decided to credit instead of debit us. The exasperated woman swiped our credit card and handed me a receipt for $0.00. We walked out of the store with the manager’s apologies and lots of free food. Much more importantly, my dream had come true.
This dramatic fulfillment of my dream took precedence in my mind over its setting. I am certain now this experience was meant to get my attention, and it worked; I was inspired to begin paying more attention to my dreams. A cave-like space filled with colorful jewels can be read as symbolic of my deepest self and spiritual treasures, and a butterfly is traditionally a symbol of death, transformation and resurrection. At the time, I couldn’t know that the most important part of this dream would gradually begin coming true as I was led to Christ through my dreams. I now understand how the receipt for $0.00—which I was handed when I chose to buy the butterfly pin—foretold how I would die to my old self and be born again; how Christ paid for my sins; and how I will always have everything I need if I believe in Him, even though in the eyes of the world I seem to possess very little.
I have had many dreams in which I experienced traumatic events happening somewhere else on earth while I was sleeping, as well as dreams foreshadowing future events involving other people and/or myself. The laws of time and space as we experience them with our waking body and perceptions are seriously relaxed, and sometimes completely broken in dreams.
For several years, my sister suffered a recurring nightmare involving planes crashing into skyscrapers. After 9/11, the nightmare abruptly ceased, and never returned. And she is by no means the only person who experienced a dream fraught with images related to this tragedy before it occurred.
It is a well known fact we would die without sleep, but scientists are now discovering that the need to dream is equally vital to our well-being. Dreaming may even be the reason we need to sleep at all.