I Had A Dream!
Sorry for misquoting MLK Jr, but last night I had a dream I actually remembered, which hardly ever happens.
I came in from the snow into the back row of a small group or classroom setting, and the teacher was asking everyone to share about their experience with suffering. I had something to share about how God helps us in our suffering. Then people started sharing their stories of suffering. One person shared a very personal example of suffering (I don’t remember anything about the story, but only that she was in tears as she told it).
Then a few people started expressing empty platitudes of how God can remove our suffering, and how knowing God makes everything better in life. I could tell it was hurting the woman who shared the personal story–not helping. I could also tell that the rest of the group was dismissing these platitudes as well, so I quickly raised my hand so that the teacher could call on me and I could give some encouragement to her and others in the room who were getting upset.
I began sharing how even though God may not remove our suffering all the time, He knows our suffering and walks through it with us, although it was much deeper than that. I felt like I was communicating some much-needed words of truth that if only believed would make a difference in each person’s life. However, as I was talking, it was clear that everyone was tuning me out, including the woman who had shared her personal story. During my appeal, she walked out of the room in tears, rejecting what I had to say. As I looked around, I realized that everyone was tuning me out. I was upset about this, because I knew what I was trying to convey was of utmost importance. But it was to no avail.
As I was finishing, I looked more closely at one of the students. She had painted her face white while I was talking and had the most stoic facial expression, not moving an inch. As I looked around the room, everyone had done the same thing while I was talking. Everyone’s face was now white, motionless, and unexpressive. It was a silent protest to what I was communicating. I had no choice but to leave the room with great sadness.
Back outside in the snow, God told me to go back into the room. This time, when I went back in, I was able to sit in a different location in the room. I noticed that time had been turned back and I was reliving the scene. Myself was in the back row like before, but I was also able to sit somewhere else in the room as well at the same time. When myself began speaking from the back of the room, I noticed that one of the people I was newly seated beside started giggling at what I was saying from the back of the room, as if it were absurd. She started goofing off, not paying attention to what I was saying. She found what looked to be like white cake frosting, or something similar in texture, and began smearing it on her face. Eventually, her face turned pale white and her face was the same motionless and unexpressive demeanor I had seen before. As I looked behind me to the rest of the room, I saw the same protest happening. However, this time, since I was not in the back of the room, I could see more people’s faces. I saw that it really wasn’t everyone participating in this protest. There were a few whose heads were down, refusing to participate, or who seemed a little ashamed about the ordeal and didn’t really know what to do except be still and not make any moves or say anything. I began to implore those who weren’t joining the protest, “Don’t you care about me or what I’m saying from the back of the room?” But they didn’t respond back to me. They just couldn’t bring themselves to do anything.
As I left the room to go back outside, I was saddened again, but was also comforted by the fact that at least there were a few people who didn’t participate in the face painting protest, even if they wouldn’t/couldn’t contribute anything to the truth. As I left the room, I noticed that the protest wasn’t limited to that room–it was a global phenomenon. Everyone outside had done the same thing; everyone was protesting the truth I had been trying to communicate in the room. I felt great sorrow over a world who refused to believe or trust in God, and then I woke up.