When I realized it was only a dream, I was glad – at least for an hour, perhaps for as long as a day. But in time, just as the shadow of the cross faded from my bedroom wall, so the shadow of the dream returned and lengthened and stretched itself over me again like a huge and menacing bird; so that the truth of the matter is that I am sometimes uncertain whether I am in fact awake or whether I continue to walk in this same dark dream.
There are moments – usually in the freshness of the early morning – when the light is clear and I see the cross cast clearly upon my wall, and I rise wakeful and confident and seize the moment’s joy. And yet the dream still clings to me, so that I am often prevented from seeing anything else. And so, my friends, my earnest request is that you will pray for me and intercede for me, that one day I may at last fully awake and shed the last stubborn strands of this persistent web of shadow.
For my part, I will pray for you as well, for I have no doubt but that your case is often similar to my own. Surely every man walks about in a vain show. But we may trust that the day is coming, and is not far off, when the sun shall rise with such light and such force that all these vanities and phantoms will at last be burned away like chaff and dispersed like smoke. That, I say, is our one great hope: for if our dreams should in the end come true, then we are indeed of all men most to be pitied.