I have shared in the past that God has spoken to me through dreams. I don’t usually have to guess where the dream came from, I just know. I may not always understand it at the time, but I know it was not a dream I dreamed on my own. This A.M. I awoke with a dream vividly in my memory banks and one that shook me up a little. It wasn’t earth shattering like a quake, or tsunami; it wasn’t about the end of days or someone whom I love having a situation, it was … well let me share it with you.
I was at a gathering of some sort, I and others, were all eating before the speaker would take the stage. We began sharing about people who use offensive language and phrases, and who tell coarse jokes, things that not only offend our ears but certainly the ears of God. One of the ladies at our table said, “Yeah, I don’t like it either; but what can a person do?” Several of the people agreed with her and a variety of opinions were flying around, none of them with a solution to the problem. Finally, I spoke and said, “There is something you can do, we can all do; tell them it offends you and ask them to not use that word” (we were specifically talking about the “F” word and other such language at this point). With deer in the headlight looks they asked, “And that works?” Answer, “for the most part.” “They don’t always stop, and sometimes they will use the offensive language more just to make a point; but, for the most part, I have found, that even if they continue to speak in such a way to others, that when they are around me, they don’t!” “Now I am not advocating that we become the watch dog of the world, people, especially non Christians will use words and say things that our inappropriate for a variety of reasons; sometimes we just need to give grace and model better behavior without a word. But, there are times we should speak up. We all know when God is tugging at our heart and our silence or lack of action hurts God; probably more than the offense we are about to address.”
Next scene was a man, I think he may have even been the guest speaker, not really sure. But he was sharing all sorts of course humor, using rough language, and sharing inappropriate stories. I knew in my heart that not only I was offended, but this had to be offending God as He was the subject of many of these stories and jokes. Sadly, as I looked around the room many were laughing and taking part. However, there was an uneasiness in the room as if something evil was about to take place. I was deeply offended and as I looked around the room I could tell some were uneasy like me, and some were looking to me as if to say, “I hate this but I feel helpless to do anything?” “Well Sandra, I said. It is time to model what you believe!” I got up went over to the man who was sitting on the floor against a wall. I called out his name rather loudly (the loudness of my voice startled me for it seemed too loud to be appropriate). I bent down and whispered in the man’s ear, that we would like to hear what he has to say, but would he please share it without the “F” word and other such language? That I and many others here are offended by such talk”. The man got up with indignation and without a word, left. I looked around at the faces, and thought great; no one is going to speak to me for a long time. I felt as if I had done something wrong in standing up for what was right. As the room cleared and I was left standing there the feeling of cold, deep, loneliness set in. For a brief moment I wondered … if a similar situation arose again… would I behave in the same manner.
Interesting thing about dreams, you are in one place and the very next moment you are somewhere else. I found myself entering another room with dread as many of the people who were in the last room, were in this room. I entered the room with complete apprehension ready for a shunning, but to my surprise, as I entered many of the audience stood revealing smiles of gratitude. They began to applaud as I entered the room; they were grateful I had stood up for what was right. Not everyone was applauding, but as the applause continued many who were not standing began to stand, turn, smile, and applaud too. Then I woke up. I woke up with a vivid memory of all that took place complete with emotions intact.
The point of the dream was that sometimes we are called to do the right thing. Speaking up often times may go against the grain of others and will be uncomfortable for us. As a Christian when we see or hear things, which we know break the heart of God, our hearts should break as well. There are times when we must speak up. We don’t need to be overbearing or judgmental, yet, speak with confidence, grace and love; much as I did to the man in the dream. There will be times in our life when we stand up for God that we will be lonely as a result, and some may leave us. But, as we speak the truth of God in love, with gentleness and grace, in time, there will be some who will come to know the truth and be thankful. And like in the dream there will be some who get it right away and others will get it as the momentum of doing right catches on, just as in my dream, some applauded right away and others later.
I am not sure when God will be asking me to be bold in speech. My prayer is that I will have the confidence to do so; the boldness to speak; and that I will do so filled with the Holy Spirits love and grace.
Until next time,