I found myself wandering the country side. If I had to pick a place, I would say a rural area of New England. I was wandering about a meadow overlooking an orchard. Something shimmered, much like a sheet of Saran Wrap. As I approached it, it was more like a wall of shimmering plastic. I could see movement on the other side. As I wandered close to it, I felt myself pulled up to it by some power. It pulled me against it. In a flash, I was pulled through and found myself in a prison. As I looked behind me, I saw the wall of “plastic” with the bright sun and the blue sky vibrating through it.
A guard came up to me and grabbed my arm. He roughly pulled me along with him. Men were dressed in orange. One prisoner brought me an orange outfit. I had not words. The dressed down prisoner was led down a long hallway. Moments later I heard the pop of a gun. Other prisoners looked to one another, then dropped their heads. The two guards were coming back down the hall.
I looked again to the wall of brightness. I thought I could escape. But something told me the prisoners would not follow. What could I do? I stared at the wall of light and knew I was here for a season. Over time, I won the trust of these men. They could not figure out why I was there. I had no crime. Meanwhile executions occurred regularly at the end of the long hallway.
One morning a prisoner told me they were coming for me. I had a decision to make. I gathered the men and showed them the “hole” in the wall. A portal to another dimension. As men raced towards to “window” the guards came. I was going away.
I have thought about this dream for a few days.
A few facts:
- I went from a place of fruitfulness(an orchard) to a place of imprisonment.
- The jail was a federal or state prison because of the orange uniforms.
- People imprisoned don’t trust easily.
- Executions remove desire, sap strength and cause depression.
- There is not much between freedom and imprisonment though they are worlds apart.
On one level I think this about the United States. But it could be anywhere. (It was June 25th.)
I think it is indicative that the church needs to be authentic, reveal real and once again, gain the trust of the imprisoned. (One might ask do I think this could actually happen. I am sure it could and possibly has. That is not the point of the dream.)
People are often faced with life long imprisonment, death or the ability to be free. Who will do this? Will we? Will I? People in jail are there because they broke the law. Interesting. The law threatens freedom. Even the laws in your head!
It is incumbent upon believers to reach out and share truth with them that they might be free.
I read this a while ago.
“Real love is offensive to victims because it believes in them in a way they refuse to.” Mike Maeshiro
We want people to be okay. To stand on their own two feet. To make a difference. Sometimes it is hard. Seemingly without fruit. It is important we understand the truths behind it. We are a people called to long suffering. Often we will be in situations with people that do not resolve in a day, a week or even years. Do we give up? Quit? I think not.
I also see a truth, at least for me, in the fact, that we are not just called to be fruitful where it is easy, but where we are. But I would say this as well, that sometimes, we need to understand the place of fruitfulness before we can leave it to help others.
The church that truly understands 1 Corinthians 13 will encounter the opportunity to “suffer long”.