You don't have to get hit with a brick to know that it hurts. This is empathy. But until you are hit with that brick you don't know how it hurts. This is true connection with the reality of a painful situation.
I've had this dream a couple of times now. I'm in a persecuted nation. I'm in a group who greatly fears those who oppose them. We experience an attack. We stand before our opponents. I ask about my friend Victor who they have taken. (In real life I have no friends named Victor. Furthermore I think I only know of one Victor.) They threaten me. I run away.
I run to the same house every time. It's a white bungalo that doesn't fit in the country (unknown) or the culture (unknown) that I'm in. I don't know who that family is, but I seek refuge there each time I run. Last night when I had this dream I didn't even knock before I entered and ran down to their guest bedroom and hid under/beside the bed; in the dark; waiting.
I woke up with my heart pounding. I struggled to place myself thinking that I was still on the floor beside the bed in my dream. It was horrible. I felt such real fear, even though I immediately understood my safety. I had been hit by a brick and along with that suddenly understood the severity of what people suffer through every day as they fight for their right to faith.
In America our knowledge of reality rarely breeches the boundaries of our own. We know what we see, experience, live. But that's not all there is. Even within our churches we pray for things as though we know them, but the shallowness of our prayer suggests we clearly don't. That's harsh. Excuse me.
Last night I didn't experience the truth of their reality, but I got a glimpse of it. I immediately understood why we thank God for freedom to gather and speak in his name. I understood the priviledge to attend an institution established in his name. I now understand one more thing about my reality in light of the greater picture.
I don't know why I have this dream. But it persists. And so I will pray. I will not take lightly the urges from others to do the same for the situations that aren't our own overseas. I will not take lightly the fact that I am free; spiritually and politically. Beyond this, right now, I find little else. And though I may not be going to join them, I will join them here in prayer.
Please join with me in joining with them.