About 2 1/2 years ago, I had a dream that I'll never forget. I didn't understand it at the time. My dreams are sometimes along the prophetic, but often in an exaggerated way. For example, many years ago I had a dream that my younger brother got sick and died. A couple days after my dream he ended up in the hospital, extremely sick and not too far from death. Thankfully he lived! But I spent the whole week he was in the hospital scared and certain that I was losing my brother. My dream from 2 1/2 years ago had that same prophetic feel, but how could it possibly hold any reality?
In the dream, there was an armed group that was coming toward the city where my family lived. It was known that this group of men would kill every person they saw who was over the age of 5. All the small children and babies would be left to fend for themselves. Everyone was running one direction away from these men, but we knew we would all be caught and killed. I gave my son, then a small baby, to my husband so he could try to get away. I started running, carrying my daughter (age 2 1/2) toward the murderous group. I was looking for my daughter's 3 year old friend, who I thought might be able to help her survive when I was killed and there were no adults to take care of her.
It was an awful dream and I couldn't figure out why it felt so real and similar to how my "prophetic" dreams often feel. A situation like this is so far removed from anything we can imagine happening here in the United States. For the past couple years I've pushed this dream out of my mind, but lately it has been coming back to me. I have 2 children at home, they have always known safety and a simple and carefree childhood. I've "seen" them in this situation in my dream; but I can't really imagine them ever having to face it. But I also have children in my heart. I don't know how many, I don't know their names or ages or where they are from. As I think about past events, and very recent events in some countries, I CAN picture my unknown children being faced by something like this.
It is purely heartbreaking. In the dream I was fully there, knowing I would die and that my tiny children would be left with no one to take care of them. As a parent, I care nothing about my life except in relation to my kids... what would happen to them if I was not able to care for them and protect them? Would there be someone to feed them, protect them, hold them, love them? I can think of so many people who probably could and would.
What about the parents and children around the world who don't have that same assurance? What can I do to help meet the needs of the estimated 147 million orphaned children throughout the world? What can I do to make a difference in countries that deal daily, or have dealt, with violence and instability like this? What am I doing? What are you doing?
It might be easier to turn our heads and look the other way. It is easy to get overwhelmed and think there is no way we can have an impact. But working together and with God's help, we can make a difference. And I know some of you are! Thank you for inspiring me and making me more aware. I am not sure exactly what to do, but I do know that I'm done looking the other way.