One night, I had a disturbing dream about Craig shortly after I met him, so I decided to check on him. I wasn’t actually going to tell him that I had a bad dream about him… it sort of freaked out my parishioners if I did that.
So I thought I’d be chatty. Hey there, this is Pastor David and I was just calling to check up on you, like I did a dozen times a week. But somehow he got me to talking and I actually told him about the dream in some detail—that he had died in a car wreck and no one noticed.
He wasn’t freaked out… he was fascinated, and he asked me more questions.
“Do you dream things that sometimes come true?”
“Uh,” I stammered, “Yes, in fact I do.”
How did he know that?
“How did you know that?”
“It’s a characteristic of people who are highly creative and depressive.”
“Really? Wait… you think I’m creative?”
He sighed. “David, you’re one of the most creative people I’ve ever met.”
I felt like I was being found out and overestimated at the same time.
“You also mentioned depression. You think I’m depressed?”
“Do you think you’re depressed?”
“I, uh, well….” It was not something I admitted even to myself.
“You’re intelligent, creative, and passionate,” he said. “You’re an ‘All or Nothing’ kind of guy, aren’t you?”
“I think so.” I said.
“Suppose,” he said, “that I put a big red button in front of you and said that if you pushed it, all your pain and sadness would go away, but so would all your creativity. Would you push that button?”
“No,” I said.
“Bingo,” he said.
It was the beginning of a fascinating conversation that took place over the next few years. Craig educated me on the new depression medicines that were coming out at that time. He specialized in teen suicide prevention and he even wrote a book for teens, teaching them how they could help each other in a crisis. He advised me when I encountered parishioners with mental health issues. And he helped me understand my own struggles.
Many years later, I realized that he diverted me from the reason I first called him. I was worried that he was having troubles. I realize now that he probably was and my dream was my intuition’s way of calling it to my attention.
Craig and I both have the ability to focus on others in order to keep the focus off of us. I’m not sure that’s a good thing although it helped us do good things for others.