Acts 20:24: “But I don’t place any value on my own life. I want to finish the race I’m running. I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus—the mission of testifying to the Good News of God’s kindness.”

Last night I had a dream that I was going back to college. As I was looking for a place to live, I was offered a room with affordable rent by a music professor – a very gifted person with lots of credentials – at which point he openly talked about the fact that he was gay.

I remember becoming curious and asking him various questions. I said to him: “One of the repercussions of being a woman is having a complicated body with hormonal changes all over the place. Shedding the time clock that had dominated a female’s fertile years for roughly 30 years, this body at some point decides to go into menopause. The female body looks, feels and responds differently as it settles into the post-menopausal period. Beauty seems to be an essential ingredient to womanhood, and when the shapes of beauty change transitioning into the senior years, women go through a grieving process.” I looked at the professor and said: “As a gay person you go through a lot of grief and in many ways are treated like a social outcast. Maybe this is of small consolation for you, but at least you don’t have to deal with that physical drama – and I haven’t even touched on motherhood yet.

So we were having a heart to heart conversation about womanhood and homosexuality. I accepted the room price he offered and proceeded to move in. End of dream.

It’s good to have dreams like that from time to time. They help me see things from a different perspective.

Recently, I have retired from the corporate work force, which represents a major change for anybody who has worked all through adulthood. In my early twenties I decided not to complete my college education. I know my dream is reminiscing about a lost college education.

Currently, I have picked up painting, which I haven’t done in many years. Last time I touched an easel was in high school. My art teacher actually recommended pursuing the arts professionally, which I declined. I didn’t want to end up being a starving artist. So here I am now, a retired lady, and it turns out I’m passionate about painting. Have I missed something? I think in my dream I’m exploring avenues.

Having an encounter with an imagined gay professor in my dream resurfaces what I have been thinking about off and on: Homosexuality and religion. I’m not happy with the way the Bible has been used (and abused) over the centuries to outcast and condemn people. There are no quick and easy answers, but I have learned that much: Treat every person with respect.

The older I get the more I think about death – not in a morbid kind of way, more in the sense that I’m grateful that I’m still around. I feel we all live on borrowed time, which keeps reminding me that I want to enjoy people and pets as long as they are around. People are always more important than a to-do list.

Finishing the race to me is all of that and more, but it really boils down to this: Never stop loving. That’s what Jesus represents, and I believe this is what the kingdom of God is all about.

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