Saturday, June 15, 2013

Four Dresses



In this dream I need new clothes, and I have an appointment at an exclusive house of couture. The designer himself, a distinguished, kindly gentleman with impeccable manners and wearing a finely tailored white suit, greets me at the door.

He escorts me into the showroom, where the vaulted glass ceiling offers a clear view of blue skies and snowy clouds. But my eyes are immediately drawn to the four dresses. Each is on a dress form in its own mirrored alcove.

The first gown is of slinky red chiffon, its many pieces practically dripping off the form to be revealing and seductive.  What would people think of me if I wore it? Despite its obvious appeal, it is garish and even shameful, and would call too much attention to my shortcomings.

The second gown appears to hail from the Civil War era and could have stepped from the pages of Godey’s Ladies’ Book. The green-and-white pin-striped crinoline is beautifully fashioned into a fitted bodice with puffy sleeves, and a full hoop skirt with just a hint of starched petticoat modestly peeking from the hem. Like a refreshing spring breeze, the lilting skirt and joyful colors lift my spirits. Yet I wonder if the corset under that fitted bodice would be too confining for comfort.

Evoking a completely different mood, the third dress hangs stiffly like a mourning garment. It covers the whole body in black crepe, from its high neck to its long skirt hiding even the shoes. The jacket has long fitted sleeves and an endless row of tiny buttons down the front, and there is a black bonnet and veil shrouding the face. Although I appreciate the painstaking workmanship underlying this garment, I shy away from its stern, somber look.

But the fourth dress immediately restores my spirits, giving me a sense of hope and peace.  Fit for a Grecian goddess, the flowing white silk charmeuse drapes gracefully over the body, allowing freedom and movement while preserving modesty and nobility.

“Have you reached a decision?” the designer asks.

“They’re all beautiful in their own way, and exquisitely made,” I reply. “I especially like the second gown, and the fourth gown is clearly my favorite. But I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford any of them.”

He shook his head sadly. “Oh, no, my dear, you don’t understand. The collection is not for sale and cannot be broken. It is a gift, but if you accept it, you must wear all four dresses, in order.”

I awoke with a sense of regret at a missed opportunity and began to ponder the symbolism of the dream. The Designer’s last words to me seemed to refer to the freely given gift of salvation, which we cannot buy with money or with good works (Romans 11:6; 2 Timothy 1:9). Only through faith in God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8), in His gift of His only begotten Son (John 3:16);Who paid the price in full through His shed blood, can we receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with Him (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Revelation 1:5) .

But sometimes we forget the process of our Christian walk during our earthly life. It begins at the moment we repent of our sins and place our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), and it ends when we see Him in glory, either at our physical death or at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15 51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-17).

The first gown, suitable for a high-class working girl, represents the need to realize and renounce our own sinfulness. Until we admit that we are sinners, we cannot be saved, because Jesus did not come to save the self-righteous (Luke 5:32; 19:10; Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17). If we place our faith in our worldly appeal and trappings of success, we may get recognition from the world, although it will be of the wrong kind and will never satisfy us. Only when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9) can He wash us clean in His shed blood (1 John 1:7), symbolized in the dream by the dripping red cloth.

The second gown represents the joyful, uplifting experience of being born again (John 3:3-8). Green is the color of new life, and white of His righteousness, both imparted to us as we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 4:22-25; 2 Corinthians 1:22). But with this joy comes a “civil war” in our soul, as the old sin nature battles the new creation (Romans 7:14-25; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). The tightly fitted bodice is like the breastplate of faith, love and righteousness (Ephesians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:8) with which we must guard our heart against the desires of the flesh.

As Paul writes, we must “die daily” to our sin nature if we are to live in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:31; Romans 7:1-13). The mourning attire represents our daily death to our own desires, our separation from the world (1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 John 2:15-16), and our willingness to take up the cross of Christ and follow Him alone (Mark 8:34;10:21; Luke 9:23).

Finally, when He takes us home, we will wear the robe of His righteousness (Job 29:14; Isaiah 61:10), as pristine and beautiful as a wedding garment, symbolized by the fourth gown. One day the church, or the bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9), will forever be united with Him and in His presence eternally. Until then, we must repent of our sins and be washed in His blood; rejoice in our salvation; and die to all that would keep us from the fullness of life as His betrothed. May we put on Christ and be adorned with His meek and quiet Spirit!  (Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:4)


© 2013 Laurie Collett
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40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa Laurie! What a fabulous dream and interpretation! The LORD is so awesome in teaching us with examples we can understand!

Thank you so much for sharing this dream! All filled with Truth! ♥♥♥

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Cathy, for your encouraging comment. He is awesome indeed, and we are so blessed that His Spirit leads and teaches us.
Love in Him,
Laurie

elizabeth said...

I'm visiting from Barbies! Nice to "meet" you via her linky!

BARBIE said...

Wow, this is truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
I love the way the Lord is able to speak to us through dreams. Yes there is a process of renewal that the Lord has set up for us, just like the caterpillar going from walking on the earth to flying in the air.

Katherines Corner said...

beautiful, wrapped in His robe. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for the visit & comment! Nice to meet you too -- I'm following you via GFC & hope you'll consider following me back!
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Barbie, for your lovely comment & for hosting!
May you have a blessed week in Him,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
So true, that there is a process, and if we try to rush it or interfere, we miss the fullness of His will for us. If we try to "help" the butterfly by cutting it from the chrysalis, it will die, for it needs the struggle to pump fluid to its newly formed wings.
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Katherine, for hosting & for your sweet comment!
Hugs & blessings,
Laurie

Denise said...

Amazingly awesome.

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great illustration, Laurie.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
When I read about your dream of the four dresses, I could not help thinking about the four Gospels.
God bless.

Prekmurska Gibanica said...

Today I had strange dream. In this dream, I came to hospital to visit my friend. Later, I came back to home to take some things and I was going by tram to this hospital again, but with my two colleagues from my university. One girl, with whom I study, smoked cigarettes in tram (in reality, it is forbidden in all Polish cities). I told her, that I can't breath in smoke because of my disease and I asked her to stop. She started to laugh, so I got out from this tram. But I wasn't worry about it.
Greetings for You dear Laurie - we have hot days last time in Cracow :)

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

Wow, what a beautiful dream and interpretation! Those dresses sound amazing... what a lesson to be learned from them. Thanks for sharing and for linking up with the Write Mama blog hop. :)

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, dear heart. God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald!
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Interesting point, Frank! I hadn't thought about that, but 4 is clearly an important number in Scripture also.
May you have a blessed week in Him,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Interesting dream, Zim! Thanks for sharing.
Greetings and blessings to you, and I hope you stay cool!
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Bonnie, for your lovely comment and for hosting!
God bless!

Nicole@nicole-southerncharm.com/ said...

What a dream! I have to say the dresses sound beautiful! I am new from southern charm. I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back! Nicole

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Nicole, for your lovely comment and for following! I'm following you back!
God bless,
Laurie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful illustration! Visiting from Winsome Wed. link-up. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sharing this story.

So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop.

We'd love it if you would link back to BeBetsy! http://bebetsy.com

Have a great weekend~xo
Sharon and Denise!

Beth said...

Such a beautiful post! Blessings!

Unknown said...

Would love for you to share this at my linkup http://myfashionforwardblog.com/all-things-pretty-13/

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much for your visit & kind comment!
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Sharon & Denise,
Thanks for your visit & comment & for hosting!
I have a link to Brag About It on my "Often Linked to These Blog Hops" page (link to this page on my sidebar).
Thanks again, & may you have a blessed week in Him!
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Kristen, for your visit & sweet comment!
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Leslie, for your visit and invite! I've linked up at your lovely blog.
Blessings to you,
Laurie

Unknown said...

Hey there! Here from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I'm following you via GFC :o) Hope you'll get a chance to check me out!

Blog url
http://www.croppedstories.blogspot.com

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much for your comment & for following -- I'm following you back!
God bless,
Laurie

Unknown said...

I wanted to let you know that This Was The MOST CLICKED ON Link at Brag About It Last Week! I’m Featuring YOU on VMG206 ~ Brag About It Tuesday's Linky Party features from last week! We go live Monday at Midnight. So please stop by and grab a Feature Button and Link Up something new.
I have also pinned your project to VMG206’s Brag About It Features Pinterest Board. I can't wait to see what you've been working on this week!
~ Megin of VMG206

Kathy Penney said...

Beautiful symbolism and so well written! Wonderful post and thank you for sharing it at All Things Pretty!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Megin -- that's awesome news! I really appreciate the feature & Pinterest exposure. Thanks also for your lovely comment & for hosting! I just linked up & have added the Featured button to this post.
God bless,
Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Kathy! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and your hosting!
Many blessings to you!
Laurie

Wise Hearted said...

Love the dress analogy. I often refer to our physical body as a dress of flesh and God will exchange it for a eternal dress. Good thoughts Laurie

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Betty! Amen -- looking forward to giving up this old garment for an eternal robe of His righteousness.
Blessings to you,
Laurie

a joyful noise said...

I do so much enjoy your vivid dreams and their interpretation. I would not have guessed that all 4 come in a package, but after your explaination, it all makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a Story."

Unknown said...

Nice dresses will always in fashion. It can help us to keep up with the fashion trend.