When I awoke this morning, the word “chains” was on my brain. I tried to recall what dreams I might have had which would have produced that effect, but nothing came to me. But all day, my thoughts kept returning to why chains would be important.

Don’t bother Googling the word because you’ll get bombarded with ads for jewelry or listening suggestions for songs called Chains by Nick Jonas or Usher or YouTube videos of a rapper who had gold chains implanted into his scalp. Sometimes it feels as though I’m making stuff up, but really, Mexican rapper Dan Sur had his hair replaced with gold chains that hang down into his face. One person commented that Sur’s favorite bedtime story must have been Goldilocks. Maybe this is what Aretha Franklin envisioned when she sang “Chain of Fools.”

Anyhow, I tried the search hack of typing the word chains (then a space) -jewelry -necklace -music. Still, nothing led me to an answer of why this word was front and center the moment I opened my eyes.

So instead I got off the computer, closed my eyes, and did mental mind mapping to consider what the word chains means to me: what do I know about it, what do I think about it, is there something good about chains, something bad about it, something funny about it? What story do I know about it?

And then I knew. I had dreamed of my mother-in-law Rosalie.

There is a version of the old-time hymn Amazing Grace with the subtitle “My Chains are Gone.” Once, years ago sitting in my car waiting to go in for a lunch meeting, that song (version by Chris Tomlin) came on the radio. I felt compelled to call Rosalie and sing the chorus to her. “My chains are gone; I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior, has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns. Amazing love, amazing grace.”

And I did just that; sitting in the parking lot, I sang to Rosalie who thanked me for witnessing God’s love to her.

Sometimes chains are beautiful.


Be sure to watch this video of the Pentatonix version of Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone). It was filmed at the location where Laura and Andrew were married: Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

An older post of mine about another dream of Amazing Grace