Have you ever had the feeling that someone was watching you?

My daughter did, and we are still laughing at the memory.

She was about 14 years old and watching TV in our basement when she had an eerie feeling that someone was in the room with her. She looked around and spotted a 12-inch pewter-colored lizard about four feet away from her.

She screamed bloody murder, then she sprinted upstairs while yelling for her brother. Like any good brother, Michael headed to the basement to capture the enemy. When he picked up the critter, yes, the tail broke off.

He caught a hold of it again, brought it upstairs and accidentally dropped it in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Katie and I were trying to decide where to spend the night.

About that time, my husband arrived home from work.

When you look into our house, you can see the dining room and then into the kitchen. As Katie and I stood outside, we watched my husband, my son and our basset hound moving together as a unit from left to right and back again trying to capture the now-tailless intruder.

They were successful, and it was taken to a new home.

Today, in 2020, oh how I wish that having a lizard in my basement was my biggest concern.

These days, our days are filled with trepidation.

And for some, the nights are worse. There is even a phrase for it: pandemic dreaming.

I have had friends tell me that their nights are so fretful that when they wake up from their dreams, they are afraid to go back to sleep.

They tell me that their dreams are longer and more vivid than before.

Years ago, I studied to become a spiritual director at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand. One weekend, our speaker was Franciscan Sister Olga Wittekind, an expert in dream therapy. Her credentials were stellar; she had studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and Chicago.

That weekend, she explained that dreams have three functions. They can bring harmony between consciousness and the unconscious. They can be confirming as to what is happening in our daily lives, and they can be prophetic.

Sister Olga taught us that we can discover God’s messages through our dreams and that they can teach us to trust in God.

I believe both to be true.

The Scriptures are filled with dreams. Jacob had one. So did Pharaoh and King Solomon – and even Joseph, the father of Jesus. Dreams appear to be one of the ways that God communicates with His people.

Even during a pandemic.