Was this a nightmare? Just a dream? Or a prophecy?
Saturday morning, August 2, 2014
Four or five men and women were making our way along a wilderness trail, led by an experienced trail guide.
All were dressed warmly, wearing backpacks or carrying knapsacks with essential belongings. I was next in line behind the trail guide, the others straggling in single file behind us.
We were strangers to one another, on this odd journey. We were in hiding, escaping from danger and heading towards somewhere safe, we didn’t know exactly where. The guide had promised to get us there without being discovered, if we followed his instructions.
The terrain was rugged, rocky and overgrown, the path barely discernible to me. There were no really tall trees, just scrub brush and weeds. The dark sky was mostly clear, the air thin and cold. Dim but adequate light was provided by the moon and stars, aided by the sparing use of the guide’s heavy-duty flashlight. Wyoming came to mind as I looked around. Why? I’ve never been there, have no idea what it would look like.
A couple of other trail guides had broken off and were angling away from us. I watched them make small marks in the underbrush as they went, leaving faint indications that someone had gone that way. Where are they going? I asked the guide.
Laying down a false trail so we can’t be followed, he explained.
They can’t make the signs too obvious, I thought to myself inside the dream. They have to make the false trail look real. I shivered as I realized just how dangerous this trek was, why being so quiet and so careful was important.
The next dream scene was a little later. The sky was still dark as we reached an ordinary looking house on the outskirts of a small town. The guide opened the door and we crowded into the living room and kitchen, milling around and asking – where are we?
A safe house, the guide said. A place to rest and re-stock. He turned on a corner lamp, leaving overhead lights dark. Curtains and drapes were closed.
Does someone actually live here? I asked him. Yes, he said, they maintain it for the travelers, keep it stocked with food, supplies. Extra stuff people might need.
I knew we wouldn’t be staying there long, perhaps just until the next night. In hiding, we couldn’t afford to be discovered. We had to get to our destination, a place further north where we could be truly safe.
Standing back from the kitchen window a little, I looked out at the sleeping town. I could hear the others whispering to each other, finding places to rest a few minutes before preparing some sort of meal.
Dawn wasn’t far away. I knew we needed the break, needed to rest, but there was such a sense of urgency in my spirit…
At that point I awoke, wondering what I had just taken part in. The images were so vivid, the urgency so clear in my mind as I came wide awake.
Perhaps it was real, what I was seeing somewhere in the world. Christians fleeing for their lives — perhaps it was real.
Perhaps it was an urgent call to intercession, a call of warning to the American church. What is happening now in Mosul could happen here.