Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
I had a dream Sunday night. I couldn’t wait to tell you about it, but I did.
I was riding on a flat bottom rail car through an unnamed city.
Our flatbed train was kind of like a ten-foot wide airport moving walkway. We were traveling in an open flatbed rail car with no safety features at all. It seemed normal. 1
I traveled with my son Josh, and a third person who was a combination of my wife Amy and daughter Shannon. Since they are so close, it didn’t seem weird at all.
We were riding the flat train-like transport — just the three of us — alone, without a conductor, at about 40 M.P.H. through an unnamed city on an elevated track about four hundred feet above the ground.
As we were traveling through the city suddenly we saw a train car – a freight car – disengage from a train traveling the opposite direction not far away.
We were stunned. “What?!?”
Surprised, I spontaneously started to pray out loud. It didn’t seem weird at all.
Though I assumed that there was no one in the freight car, I immediately I started praying out loud for the people people below.
- the people on the streets who were below the falling freight car
- the people in their homes who were potentially in the path of the falling freight car
I knew — like it was intuitive — that I should pray for them.
“Please God help them. Please God protect them. You love them: care for them. Help them.” I was neither rude nor demanding. I prayed similar things over and over, out loud.
As the train car crashed out of sight below us we immediately felt alerted. We were feeling kind of scared, not quite worried, but alert. Like more weird bad things might happen.
It didn’t take long to find out.
We continued traveling fast in the opposite direction of the falling freight car when another freight train appeared. Again it traveled in the opposite direction.
Almost as soon as we saw the train we had a foreboding sense that something was going wrong. Then the train buckled as if the front of the train hit something and the rest of the train derailed — lifted off the tracks — curled and started falling off their elevated tracks.
As the train buckled I realized that I was now praying for the unknown people below who were now in th path of even more danger. They faced not a single falling freight car, but an entire falling freight train!
As if that wasn’t bad enough, as if that wouldn’t have shaken and overwhelmed us enough, it seems like as all this was happening that a passenger plane — maybe several passenger planes were crashing — into the city further away from us, but because there was so much going on immediately in front of us I didn’t think to pray for them; nor did I have a sense of guilt that I should have been praying for them.
We had plenty to pray for right in front of us.
With all the chaos that was going on around us we kinda looked at each other with a foreboding sense that we were not safe either.
Then our flatbed train flew off the tracks.
We flew forward — in the direction we were going — but falling fast at about a 25-30 degree angle.
Amy-Shannon screamed, Josh stayed silent, and I started praying out loud for us.
“Please God help us. Don’t be satisfied with this. This is not good enough. You love us: protect us.” I prayed that, and more, over and over, out loud.
We were scared.
We were falling.
We didn’t talk about it, but I believe we all thought we would die.
We should have died.
We were traveling at 40 M.P.H. falling from hundreds of feet above the ground apparently destined to crash into the ground in a crowded urban landscape.
All signs pointed to the likelihood that we would die.
I kept praying, uncertain that God would protect us. Assuming that it was entirely possible that we would crash into the ground and die. I kept praying, “Please God help us. Don’t be satisfied with this. This is not good enough. You love us: protect us.”
Since I’m writing this you assume correctly, we lived.
We landed almost flat; stopping safely and abruptly right in front of a red brick industrial building that we easily could have flown into to our death.
As I landed I immediately thought, “I have to tell people that prayer works. That God does listen even when everything is crashing down around us. God is listening, and God cares; and acts.”
Then I woke up. I knew immediately I should grab my laptop and record this because it was something that I really should tell people.
After all, who better to give a dream to than a person who doesn’t sleep well, who doesn’t like to sleep, who is almost never is aware of a dream and who is even more seldom to ever remembers a single detail of those dreams.
Who better to give a profound dream to that the guy in the room least likely to have one?
So here is the moral of the story, as best I understand it:
Pray for others. Pray for strangers. God says, “Pray for me to help them even when you don’t know them, or really even care for them personally, but pray for them. They need it and your heart will be made more tender as you pray for those you don’t know simply because my love for them will prompt you to pray and my love will fill you as you pray.”