I dreamed last night that I went back to my former church-not to stay, but to visit. In the dream, my former pastor (the one who skipped town after leaving a resignation letter on his desk suddenly several years ago) returned and was preaching again. The church was packed. I forgot one of my shoes and so wore two that didn’t match, then found the missing one and wasn’t wearing any of them. I sat way in the back and debated sitting further forward, but decided I’d rather sit on the floor than sit any closer to the front and call attention to myself (as though sitting on the floor didn’t).

In the dream, things had changed. Everyone got up and marched around the church to drop their offerings in full view of the leaders who would ensure that everyone was giving enough. Slit skirts were no longer frowned on, skirt lengths had dramatically shortened to mid thigh.

In the dream, other things were eerily similar, yet different: leaders would do pre-service skirt checks that included measuring to ensure that the new standard was met, attitudes were haughty and people looked down on each other, judging and condemning rather than loving. And the woman who taught me Bible studies when I first joined had apparently become a member there, though she lives about 9 hours from that church.

It’s a strange dream for a number of reasons, but primarily because I know I’ll never go back and wouldn’t be welcome if I did. Oddly, the former pastor who allowed so much wrong and who wronged so many would probably be welcomed before me. It’s also strange because I have no idea why I had it. I’ve done nothing that would remind me of them, seen nothing that should have brought on a dream of that place, and it’s been probably several years since I dreamed about that place at all.

Dreams are strange. Thankfully, many don’t mean anything and ones like this no longer bother me or haunt me for hours or days afterward.