Chapter OneA Parable for
God created you for a higher purpose.
This is the most important journey of your life,
pursuing your God-given purpose.
The Dream Giver
In the Land of Familiar, not far from here, lived Mom
and Dad and their only son, Ordinary. He had become
notorious in Familiar for daring to leave in search of what
he called his Big Dream.
"We always knew there was something wrong with
him," people would say when Ordinary's parents were out
of earshot. But to their faces they said, "It must
be . interesting to have such a special child!"
Mom was having a hard time because of her son. On
the day she first held little Ordinary in her arms, she said:
"Ordie, my sweetie, Mommy promises to always keep you
safe." Now she didn't even know where he was. The last
time she had seen him, he was rowing in a small boat
across the Wide Waters bordering the extreme ends of
Familiar. Since then, she hadn't heard from him. He had
said that he was on his way to some unknown Land of
Promise. However, Mom had no peace of mind. What if
this road led straight to the WasteLand-that desolate
region about which one heard only the most horrid tales?
"To him it might be a Dream," she would complain to
Dad, "but to me it is one endless nightmare. And it's all
your fault. Dreaming runs on your side of the family." She
wasn't entirely mistaken. In his youth, Dad had had a
Dream, too, but he had buried it so deeply that he could
hardly remember what it was. He didn't have the courage
to leave Familiar and embark on the dangerous quest for
"The moment Ordie mentioned this Dream thing,
you became excited," Mom had upbraided Dad when
Ordinary announced he was leaving. "You could have
talked him out of it. But no-o-o, you had to start
dreaming along with him. At your age, it's just ridiculous!"
"If a parent can't dream along with his child," Dad
had answered, "how will that child ever come to believe in
his Dreams? I wish my dad had been enthusiastic about
Mom had snorted and set out after Ordinary to stop
him. However, when she returned alone with the news
that Ordinary was determined to pursue his Dream, she
had changed her tune. "This Dream thing still is a bit of a
mystery to me," she said. "But I do know now that my son
had to get into that little boat and cross the Wide Waters.
He just has to pursue his Dream."
Since then, Mom had been torn by conflicting
emotions. She believed her Ordie had done the right
thing, but she was haunted by the fact that her son was
out there in the Unknown. When others in Familiar
implied that Ordinary had lost his mind, she jumped to
his defense. But in quiet moments, she regretted that
Ordinary had ever become involved in Dreams.
"I would have refused to let him go," said her best
friend, Mollycoddle Mom. "If my child had entertained
any such notion, I would have stopped her, even if I had
to scream or cry or fake a heart attack. No daughter of
mine is leaving Familiar. It's pure madness!"
Mom tried to change the subject. "And how is Little
Molly? Is she still polishing teaspoons for Familiar
Kitchenware? Or is it forks?" But as soon as Mollycoddle
Mom left, she threw herself on the bed, crying over
* * *
That's where Dad found Mom when he arrived home
from his Usual Job. He sat down beside her on the bed
and put his arms around her.
"I don't get this Dream thing!" Mom sobbed.
"Explain it to me-after all, you were afflicted by Dreams
when you were young, weren't you?"
Dad was quiet for a moment. Then he replied, "I
think you also have a Dream."
"Me? Whatever gave you that idea? I am an ordinary,
respectable citizen of Familiar. You won't catch me
getting into little boats, rowing off while my poor mother
stands crying on the shore!"
But Dad wouldn't be put off that easily. "Just think,"
he said. "What made you set out after Ordinary to try and
"I wanted to be a good mother," Mom murmured.
"I'm concerned about my child's safety."
"Exactly!" Dad said. "That's a Dream, too, you know. We
are living our Dreams when we become what we were born
to be-when we're able to say, 'I am happy when I'm like
this.' Tell me, have you ever found a long white feather?"
Mom sat bolt upright. "Why?"
"Well, when I discovered my Dream as a young man,
I found such a white feather. But as time passed and I
didn't do anything about it, my feather turned to dust.
Ordinary also found a feather along with his Dream, but
he used his for keeping his Dream Journal . because he
had discovered that he had no choice but to pursue his
Dream. The white feather is a sign that you did not
invent your Dream yourself-that it comes from the
"I did find a white feather-on the day Ordinary was
born," Mom mused. "I've never understood what it
meant. You know, I've never paid much attention to this
Dream Giver talk. Yet I kept the feather. It should be
somewhere in one of Ordie's albums."
She jumped up to go look for it. And there it was-slightly
discolored and tattered-still lying between the
pages of the album. She took it out and gently stroked
the photos of little Ordinary. "I used to tickle him with
this when he was little," she remembered.
"Then his dreaming streak is your fault." Dad said,
laughing. "I should have guessed!"
"But this doesn't make sense. My Dream definitely is
to be a good mother and keep Ordie safe. But his Dream
is to set out and expose himself to who knows what kinds
of danger. Our Dreams are mutually exclusive!"
"Perhaps you don't really understand your Dream,"
Dad said. "It is about being a good mother to Ordinary,
that's clear. And when he was young, this meant cuddling
him and looking out for his safety. But as he grew up, your
Dream should have grown with him."
"Are you saying that my Dream of keeping him safe
was not big enough for him?" asked Mom.
"No, not big enough for you!" answered Dad excitedly.
"Yes, I see it now: When you allowed Ordinary to row
away from you in pursuit of his Dream, you were actually
fulfilling your Dream, too. You were still being a good
mother. It's just that your Dream had grown bigger. It's a
much bigger Dream to let your children go than to cling
to them. That's a Dream big enough for a woman like
"But if that's true, why am I suffering so much?" Mom
"Because nothing worthwhile comes easy. A Dream
that comes true too easily doesn't really bring any
meaning into a person's life. Dreaming of keeping your
children dependent is not worth much. But dreaming of
sending them out into the world to pursue their Dreams?
That's a Big Dream in itself!"
"Now don't you start preaching at me," laughed Mom.
"I've decided to use this white feather for writing about
my Dream and about Ordinary and how hard it is not
knowing where he is."
Suddenly, the feather in her hands was transformed-it
became pure white and brand new, as if she had just
* * *
"Looking back," Mom wrote with the white feather in her
new Dream Journal, "I realize that Ordinary has always
been on his way to Big Things. I remember him building
a whole city in the mud in our garden when he was very
"'Look, Mom,' he said, 'it's a place where everyone can
live well, a much better place than the Land of Familiar.'
And I joined him in all this! It never occurred to me that
I was sharing his Dream. Perhaps that's a good thing ."
She was remembering how Mollycoddle Mom used to
remark disapprovingly, "No child of mine will ever play in
the mud like that-" when there was a knock at the door.
It was Mollycoddle Mom, her face red with crying.
"I just don't know what to do anymore," she sobbed
as she collapsed onto Dad's recliner. "Little Molly won't
eat. She doesn't want to go anywhere or do anything. She
says she hates her life; she just wants to curl up and die."
Mollycoddle Mom blew her nose. "I tried to comfort
her, reminding her of her comfortable job. But then she
burst out that if she never saw another knife in her life, it
wouldn't be too soon."
It was knives she polished, Mom remembered then.
Little Molly was Assistant Knife Polisher. But now she
seemed to have become dissatisfied.
"And you know Difficult Dad." Mollycoddle Mom
burst into tears again. "All my life I have had to protect
Little Molly from him. He says the child needs a firm
hand and that he'll cut her off if she doesn't stop her
nonsense. So I thought I might have a talk with you
because you have a problem child, too, and you ."
"He's no problem child," Mom snapped back. "I have
a Dreamer child, and I have come to understand only
lately that following one's Dream is actually what we all
should be doing. Perhaps that is Little Molly's problem-she
doesn't like what she's doing. Have you ever tried
talking to her about what she would like to do? Maybe
that job Difficult Dad arranged for her doesn't suit her. If
she could do what she loves, she might get a taste for life
again. Perhaps she has a Dream of her own?"
"I don't think it's anything that serious," Mollycoddle
Mom said anxiously. "And what's the point of asking her
what she wants to do? For goodness' sake, we're her
parents. If we don't know what's best for her, then who
does? Polishing knives is honest work."
Mom suddenly had an idea. "Would you like to read
this?" She held up her Dream Journal. "I actually didn't
intend for anyone to read it, but perhaps it will help you."
She pressed the Journal into Mollycoddle Mom's hands.
No one spoke for quite a while as she sat reading. At last,
Mollycoddle Mom broke the silence.
"I think I know what I have to do. I'll have to have a
talk with Little Molly about what she really wants. Just
like you, I want to be a good mother, but I don't always
"You'll learn along the way," Mom assured her. "That's
what we all have to do."
* * *
The following afternoon, Mom was writing in her Dream
Journal when Mollycoddle Mom appeared once more at
the front door. This time Little Molly was with her.
"So much for Dreams!" Mollycoddle Mom burst out.
"Do you know what the child wants to do? She wants to
"You don't understand! She doesn't want to draw
useful things, like new designs for knives. She wants to
draw . other people's Dreams. She has a white feather,
just like yours and Ordinary's, and she thinks she could
help people understand their Dream if she talked to them
about it and then drew it for them. She thinks if people
had a clear picture of their Dreams, they would be more
successful at living them."
"Sounds like a wonderful Dream to me!" Mom
smiled. Little Molly shyly drew closer to her.
"But there is no work in the Land of Familiar for
Dream Draftsmen!" sobbed Mollycoddle Mom. "She'll
never make a living! And what will Difficult Dad say? He
hates 'silly pictures' and hates Dreams, and now his
daughter wants to follow a career in both!"
"Little Molly is a big girl," Mom said, although the
tearful girl next to her didn't look it just then. "She can
decide for herself. If she wants to be a Dream Draftsman,
we have to help her."
"I know of a Dream Draftsman who lives here," Little
Molly offered timidly. "Perhaps I could go see him ."
"I'll take you there ." said Mom.
"I'm coming with you. We will see ." said
* * *
The Dream Draftsman lived on a small street in a poorer
part of Familiar. His little house was filled with pictures.
"How did you think up all of this?" asked Mollycoddle
"I don't think up anything," explained the Dream
Draftsman. "Dreams are created by the Dream Giver,
who puts them into the right people's hearts. He gave me
the gift of helping people see what Dreams He has for
them. They understand their Dreams better if they have a
picture of what they look like."
He looked at Mom. "You're Ordinary's mother, aren't
you?" He rummaged around and took out a few pictures.
"Ordinary asked me to draw his Dream before he went
away. He left this one here because he hoped you or his
father would one day like to see it."
The first picture was of little Ordie just as she
remembered him-in the mud, his Dream City in front
of him. Mom was speechless.
"I drew two more after Ordinary left. I don't
understand why the Dream Giver had me draw these, too,
but perhaps it was because you will need them." The
second picture shocked Mom. It showed Ordinary
walking around a rundown city, surrounded by thin,
"Yuck," said Mollycoddle Mom. "Doesn't look like
much of a Dream Picture to me."
"But see how happy he looks?" exclaimed Little Molly.
"As if he's exactly where he needs to be! This is the most
beautiful picture I've ever seen."
Mom took another look. It was true. She had never
seen Ordinary looking so happy. Then she saw the third
picture. Ordinary was standing on the wall of a beautiful
city. Around him smiling children were playing. "This is
possible," explained the Dream Draftsman, "if Ordinary
follows his Dream."
"I wish I could draw like that," said Little Molly.
The Dream Draftsman gave her a long look. Then he
said, "You will." He turned to Mollycoddle Mom.
"And . you will too."
Mollycoddle Mom blushed flaming red. "I did dream
a bit, a long time ago, but ."
"Mother!" accused Little Molly with a laugh. "You
never said a thing!"
The two began talking excitedly to the Dream
Draftsman. Mom stood there, hugging Ordinary's three
Dream Pictures. Nobody noticed her leave and take the
pictures with her.
* * *
Back home, Mom put the Dream Pictures away with the
white feather and her Dream Journal. Then she heard the
front door open. She walked quickly to the door. It was
Dad, and he had a stranger with him. The man was
emaciated and looked sickly. His eyes were dull and his
Dad put an arm around Mom's shoulders. "Darling,"
he said, "this is Turnabout. I am afraid he has some very
bad news for us."
"Ordinary?" asked Mom.
Turnabout nodded, but did not look her in the eye.
"He can't be dead, I know he isn't dead!" cried Mom.
"I would have known ."
"When I saw him last in the WasteLand," murmured
Turnabout, "he was thin, and his clothing was ragged, but
he was alive."
"The WasteLand?" cried Mom. "But he was heading
for the Land of Promise!"
"The Land of Promise?" Turnabout laughed gruffly.