Friday, June 6, 2014

THE DREAM POLICE (PT. III): Hotline to Heaven

Hotline to Heaven

"'Cause they're waiting for me,
 looking for me. Every single 
night, they're driving me insane.
Those men inside my brain."

As the lyrics of this 1979 Cheap Trick classic suggest, I'm visited — often tormented at night by "those men inside my brain." Fortunately, I'm not always placed in starring roles of nightmares — running for my life from a host of villains, monsters and Liberals. Occasionally these cinematic-type sleeptime stories are quite wonderful. My mother often visits me from Heaven to offer words of advice and guidance. And after 35 years, Pat Benatar also continues to be a frequent co-star.

I never quite know what to make of these horrifying, mysterious and (often) downright ridiculous nocturnal visions. But typically, I can recall them all in vivid, living color. As a result, I find sharing details of my dreams with others to be cathartic for me, and apparently entertaining for others. Simply put, I can't make this stuff up, folks.

In this mini-series, I've recounted three of my wildest, yet strikingly different recent visions. This one is perhaps the most profound. Enjoy!

Hotline to Heaven  

I'm a writer. How ya doin'? I live online 18/7. And through developing various fiction and non-fiction books, short stories and entertainment reviews, I'm in constant research mode. Hence, my life often seems like one long, never-ending Google search. So, it makes perfect sense that I was sitting (as always) at the desk located in my home office when this dream opened. I apparently was working on some sort of faith-based feature and I had typed the word "Heaven" into the ol' Google search. But rather than the link to a related Wiki page, movie listing, book review or ministry website, the first item to pop up on my computer screen was a toll-free phone number the "Heaven Hotline." Hmm, intriguing. I couldn't resist dialing the number, and in short order, a friendly guy with a familiar-sounding voice answered. "Thanks for calling Heaven. This is Greg. How can I help you?"

Sometimes, Google is like a box of chocolates.
Greg had been one of my dearest friends for more than 25 years  I would have recognized his voice anywhere. We came from the same small town and we were almost exactly the same age. We'd both gotten married at nearly the same time back in 1985 and we both had raised teenage kids. Greg and I knew the same people, we hung out at the same places and we shared the same passion for rock and roll. In fact, with the exception of his crappy taste in NFL teams, I can't recall  anything that we didn't have in common.

I've never actually been kicked in the ribs by an angry mule. But I can't imagine that it would be any more painful than what I experienced when I received a call during the spring of 2012, apprising me that Greg had died suddenly the night before from a massive heart attack. It remains a shock and loss that I've yet to get over. However, two years later, Greg now was revisiting me in this dream. My knee-jerk reaction was a bit awkward.

"Dude, you're answering the phone in Heaven?"

"Well, yeah," Greg replied with a certain sense of "DUH!" "Where else would I be?"

"Uh, right. Of course," I quickly began to backpedal. "I mean, you're answering the phone in Heaven."

"Sure. It's a busy day, and it's my turn to man the switchboard." DUH!

"So what's it like?" I had to ask.

"Dude, it's amazing," he shot back, with rapid-fire reflexes. "It's everything you've heard about and better. Just wait 'til you get here!"

"Ah, so you already know that I'm coming?" I had to ask that one too.

"Well, yeah. The Book of Life is sitting right here on the table I'm looking straight at your name. Heck, I know everybody who's coming."

Then, for some random reason, I felt compelled to ask Greg about our friend, "Terrence," who I had bumped into recently at a club a guy who seemed to be dealing with some "stuff."

"Yep," Greg confirmed instantly, and with tremendous joy. "Terrence IS gonna be here!"

I was relieved. But then our conversation took on a more serious tone.

"Listen," Greg chimed in his voice now suddenly became uncharacteristically soft and calm. "You might be surprised by who's here and who's not here."

The insights continued.

"A lot of people a lot of our friends are listening to, and believing, a lot of bogus nonsense about Heaven that it's no big deal or that everybody's gonna just walk right in. Trust me, it's more amazing than you can imagine. But be sure, there's only ONE All-Access stage pass, and that's Jesus Christ. It's as simple and true as John 3:16."

"You're preaching to the choir, man," I assured my friend.

"I know that you know," Greg clarified. "I'm just begging you  please get that word out to everyone else. We can always add more names to 'the book.' Hey, it's been great talking to you, but like I said, it's busy here today and I need to get jammin'. See ya soon!"

"Uh, right. Thanks, Greg. Nice talking to..." CLICK.

Like I said, I can't make this stuff up.

-Christopher Long
(June 2014)



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