I had a dream. It was a dream about the grandness of humans in our variety. We need to embrace the way that God has made us unique. That grandness is needed because humans are the pinnacles, the high point, the finishing perfection of God’s creation. We are more different in a more different way than any other creature that God created. It is unfortunate that every group that we group ourselves in, every nation, every kind of difference that we have we use to try to separate ourselves from one another, each claiming that their ways and their differences are the preferred ones. The truth is that we need to embrace all our differences as grand, beautiful and deeply needed by all of humanity. The truth is that our lives are less when we separate ourselves from one another, especially when we claim that we don’t need the differences.
Embracing differences has always been a theme of mine ever since I experienced first hand the cruelties of racial bashing as a teenager. So it is not surprising that in this dream I was the champion of embracing differences.
The dream started with a woman in distress all crumpled up in physical and emotional pain beside her car next to a sidewalk in a basically empty area of town. A group of us were attempting to talk to her and help her. She just did not want to be consoled her inner pain was so great.
Then an old dilapidated car stopped near by with some very large people from who knows where, and asked if they could help. They looked something like large Samoans but not quite. They were very different, so different that we could not categorize where they were from. From some brief dialogue we could tell they were Christians like us. But when I suggested we let them help, my group sort of turned their noses up and shook their heads as if they were scared of them. When I saw their attitudes darkening I just jumped up and ran over to the car and invited them to help, explaining the situation as much as we knew. As they walked toward the woman I could see they had a genuine love from God.
As dreams have a way of expanding in unexpected ways, my group of believers were Christians in ministry and pretty unhappy with me for inviting “strangers” to join us to help. But in my mind the priority was that maybe they COULD help this woman whose life and very soul were at risk.
The next scene is that we are all walking through some YWAM base somewhere trying to see what could help this woman. Unfortunately she was not responding as well as we had hoped. But praiseworthy for us, we all stayed together to help this woman find her will to live and rejoice in life again. Then we are traveling to different areas seemingly to find some clue to help this woman. Finally, we ended up in a snow filled landscape by some not quite frozen waters. We camped there and daily prayed and talked with God together with the woman listening, yet never quite finding her answer.
Then these very different Samoan (but not) type unique people with some very different ways about them took a more active part among us. They shared with us some unique practices. One of which was a bit astonishing. They went to an area of the water that was shallower and used some tool to froth up the slushy water and then got in it jumping and splashing and stirring it up into soupy slush. BRRRRRR! To our surprise the woman was willing to experience this. The biggest stranger seemed to have some empathetic understanding with her that she embraced. She jumped in doing the same things that they did screaming at the cold, then crying, and then she dove under. The big man was at the side waiting to jump in after her, but didn’t go in. In a slight panic we waited and she came up out of the water crying but happy. As we all rushed to help her get warm she shared with us that this was the experience that she needed in order to know that she wanted to live and that she was willing to live with God in Christ as her Savior. Who would have thought? We were amazed.
Waking up, I realized as I have many times, but yet I realized in a broader way how important our differences are and how much we need to receive from people their unique views and experiences of life. God created us all with great love and care. Humans simply do best when we can shed our pride, our fears of differences, our claim to being better than others, and receive the messages from God that our different experiences of life bring. God is much bigger than we can imagine. He simply cannot share all that He is with one human being no matter how brilliant. If we want to see and experience all of God then we need to receive the ministries and lives of all God’s peoples from all over the world, even those next door, OR maybe that woman sitting across from you in church. :^)
How’s that for a dream! :)
P.S. comments welcome!