Someone said to grab my five year old nephew and a friend of mine and go take cover in a small stairwell. “Don’t worry, this is just practice,” I was told. “But take it seriously.”
Thinking, “This is going to be fun,” I put an arm around my nephew and pulled him down into the corner of the wall. I assured him with a grin that this wouldn’t be too bad. My friend leaned into the wall of the stairwell with us. Before we could get comfortable though, a booming explosion went off.
Holy crap. That did not sound safe.
The explosion did not sound like “practice,” and it sounded close enough that I thought the bomb could come flying through the top of the stairwell at any moment and penetrate the level we were hiding on. I pictured a massive rock blasting through the wall to crush us.
In a matter of mere moments I scrambled to pull my nephew closer to my chest and to make sure my friend a few feet away was still okay. At the same time I was struggling to move my jacket to cover all three of our heads and was trying to get us into a safer, lower position. I had no time to readjust everything, but I was desperately hoping I could protect us from the force of any debris now flying our way. And the explosions only continued to roar through the little stairwell one after another — coming from who knows where.
My nephew starting crying loudly, and then the dam broke in my own soul. I too began to weep profusely as I shook with the impact of the bombs hitting near us and with the fear and pain now rising in my soul.
It was real. And it was terrifying.
All at once it had become clear that I was not preparing for battle. I was in the middle of war, and for the first time in my life I felt responsible to somehow preserve the life of someone else I cared for who was also under attack. But I had no idea what we were even up against.
I was in a swirl of intense emotions and feeling like I could only process them by just letting them all out. Then I woke up.
It was just a dream. Yes, I literally just woke up on a Thursday night from a nap and realized I’d just had a dream. But I was smart enough to know it wasn’t “just” a dream.
God just gave me a very vivid picture of what it is like to be in a war zone like Syria right now. I actually felt like He was processing His own emotions through me in the dream… conveying that He stands in complete solidarity and empathy with the victims who are currently suffering in this tragic situation. He was showing me how He really feels as He is present in the bodies and hearts of His children in that nation, seeing things from their perspective.
Jesus is not apathetic to the pain and injustice of this crisis.
However we respond to what the news is showing us, we must not become apathetic. Let the situation hit home, just as if it was your own nephew or friend going through this.
The Lord wants us to allow ourselves to feel the impact of what is taking place. He wants us to care.