Last night I had a dream…
It was a crowded room full of glitz and glamour. I’m not quite sure how I fit in, or why I was among the on-slot of celebrity faces, but it was obvious that no one knew me. I sat next to my husband at a very small round table donned with a white linen table cloth, a vase with one red rose, and candlelight. Across the table, with one elbow next to his diner plate and the other propped on the back of his own chair sat Bill Murray. He puffed on a cigar precariously dangling between his lips and in front of him was a small glass of dainty ice cubes and scotch. Next to Murray in his tux appeared Ryan Gosling, who only leaned on the table to make a contorted face and an inside joke to our dinner guest before he was whisked up into the stirring pot of fame dancing around the room.
We looked at each other in disbelief that we were in the presence of comic genius and marveled as he started to make small talk with us. He was funny. I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but all I know is that we were overwhelmed with uncontrollable laughter. As the dinner ended, an invitation was made by the party’s hostess that the after-party would be taking place now. The mob of people exited the building down stairs shoulder to shoulder, not staying for the next event. Bill Murray’s head stood at least a foot above the crowd and he turned to us from across the noisy crowd and said,
“Well that’s pretty contradictory to the Bible or the Koran or whatever you believe…”
We laughed. I’m not quite sure what he was referring to, except that all these people leaving were in agreement that whatever the hostess wanted us to stay for wasn’t worth it.
We made it to the street and oddly enough all the ritzy hollywood types continued on foot, while our car, driven by my dad pulled up. We got in, still laughing with wide smiles, and were soon accompanied by my mom and our two boys. I don’t know where the girls were…it was a dream. 🙂 We turned onto a street filled with cars and all of a sudden found ourselves sitting in a living room with tons of people and..
The pomp and circumstance was gone, the tuxes and evening gowns were all replaced with casual jeans and t-shirts. We laughed and cajoled as we listened to witty banter and slick one-liners. As Paul and I relaxed on the couch, the rest of the group seemed to intensely gather at the feet of the actor, eyes wide open and attentive with their whole bodies. At one point, he turned to us and said,
“I think I need a glass of ice water.”
And at that, the entire room left to the kitchen, pushing and shoving to find a cup and the ice-maker. He laughed.
He turned and from behind his chair pulled out a glass filled with fresh ice water. He swirled the glass a little to jingle the ice against the cup. Immediately, the room filled and the Murray disciples all gathered to hear the man speak once again.
We didn’t know what to think of his trick. But, it seemed as though he wasn’t at all enjoying the power he had over the masses. He seemed to almost loathe and pity his followers. He got up from his chair and found the bathroom.
In his absence, a hush fell over the room and the anticipation of his return by the party guests was almost frightful. Paul turned to me and said,
“I don’t think he feels good.”
I agreed, “I think he’s tired and unhappy…maybe even sick to his stomach.”
He soon returned and a man in the crowd piped up with a story for Bill. It was uninteresting and was an obvious attempt to impress the famous comedian. Soon, everyone lost interest and started their own side conversations as the storyteller continued, oblivious to his fading audience. Bill Murray turned to me and said,
“I’d much rather be spending my evening with a family watching polar bears and meerkats fight over the migration of the monarchs in Europe.” (remember, this is a dream…) “You know, wish I had settled down somewhere.”
“It must be hard in this kind of environment…always on the road, to have meaningful relationships…”, I said, and then I woke up.
My jaw and cheeks were tight as I halfway came to. I think my face muscles were labored from smiling in my sleep at the initial non-stop laughter and funny discourse. And then, my heart sank. I wanted to go back. I wanted to sit on the couch next to Bill Murray and put my hand on his shoulder and invite him to watch Animal Planet at my house, with my kids. After all, we had just had dinner and drinks and were hanging out on a couch. I wanted him to become part of our family…to be..”Uncle Bill”.
I tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep and re-enter the dream just as it had left off. I played through the conversation in my mind–heartfelt sympathy for his desire to be settled followed by an invitation to come over to our house any time he was in town. In my half-awake state I imagined what the evening of popcorn and nature shows would be like, the jokes he would tell and the way my kids would laugh at his crazy antics. Then, the more I regained consciousness from my sleepy state, the more I started to apply realistic worry about fantastical “Uncle Bill” spending the night in our meager office/guest room, the fact the I don’t really know the man or his past, and worse case scenarios…what if he hurt my kids in the middle of the night?
Sleep was not coming easy at this point. I had to sit up and shake my head. Angie, you don’t know Bill Murray. You’ve never met him. He’s not coming over for family movie night.
My heart was twisted between dreamworld and reality and I couldn’t relax enough to fall back asleep. I thought, “God, what in the world is this crazy dream about? Do you want me to pray for Bill Murray???”
So as ridiculous as it sounds, I prayed for Bill Murray at 2 am. I asked God to give him peace and joy in Jesus and not his success. I prayed that he find happiness and a family. Then I peacefully and easily fell asleep.
This morning, as I was recounting my dream to Paul, I realized I really know nothing of Bill Murray, except that he’s hilarious. I have no knowledge of his personal life and I just hours earlier had prayed for the man. So I did what any other non-celebrity would do…googled it. I learned he’s actually been married twice and has five children. So, I’m sure he’s had a chance to watch the Discovery Channel with kiddos.
I don’t know why I had the dream, or why I am even blogging about it today. All I do know is that it prompted me to pray for Bill Murray last night.
There are many people in this world of high stature and with lots of worldly success that I never pray for. I never think to pray for them, because I assume they have it all. Today I’ve wondered if anyone is praying for these people–for the people who so many gravitate towards and follow–for the people who have so much cultural and social influence. And, I don’t mean pray for them, that they learn to love Jesus and can use their platform to spread the Gospel… I mean praying for their hearts, even if they come to know Jesus in the last minutes of their life, away from cameras and spotlights, and no one ever knows about it. I don’t think I have ever thought to pray for a celebrity or someone I don’t know to have personal joy in someone greater than themselves, simply for their benefit.
I pause to think, do I even do this for those around me? At first response, I think I would say, “absolutely!” When I have a hurting friend or an ailing child, of course, I am praying for them and strictly for their sake. But, if I really dig deep, some times–not all the time–but some times, my prayers for them are motivated by my discomfort. Their hurt or their illness is uncomfortable for me or scary for me, and life would be more manageable for me if they were better. I think I am learning. I think that I am learning to more often pray for others simply for the sake of their benefit, not mine. Imperfectly, I am learning to pray for the Spirit to work in individual hearts and not for the betterment of a group or for a movement in the masses. I am learning to seek the Father’s will, that He be glorified, above that of my own comfort or happiness.
In the back of my mind I kind of hope somehow Bill Murray catches wind of a little blog about him and hears that he was prayed for. It might make him feel good, it might make him mad. I have no clue. But if he’s reading this crazy random musing….just know, Uncle Bill, you are always welcome to come over and talk about it.