It seemed to always be dusk, and the sky was always slashed with colors of orange and red that didn’t seem to quite belong. My brother, Tim and I were running down a flight of steps in some metropolitan city, looking back over our shoulders for the enemy and trying not to trip. The only reason I wasn’t crying was because I knew I had to run for my life; otherwise I would have been bawling on the floor and not much help to Tim.
They had already gotten to Daniel. They knew he was a youth minister in our local church; publicly claiming to be a Christian and leading others to live such a way of life was already enough “proof” to have him killed, and so they did. I had to find my family or else I knew I would be all alone through all this. Thank God, Tim and I found each other some how...they were herding us all like cattle into centralized locations for lock-down and an “introduction” to the new way of life they were bringing. We were going to need each other to survive this. I still didn’t know how Tim had gotten away from them; #1- he was male, #2- he had worked at churches in the past...but that wouldn’t matter if we couldn’t find our way out in the next few moments.
And then suddenly, they were behind us speaking in a language we couldn’t understand but making their intentions fairly clear with guns leveled at Tim. There was no time to think before the bullet found him, and I was alone again. I swear the world stopped; after everything else I’d been through...I couldn’t take losing Tim too. I should have kept running, even as unlikely as it was that I’d get away, but I couldn’t just leave his body for some reason...he hadn’t left me, I couldn’t leave him...even if he was gone.
Sobbing the entire time, they pushed and drug me back to the camp; through the gates and doors and into the common area. It must have been nice once, but now a broken fountain and cardboard houses filled the area. Nauseating smells of disease and hopelessness filled my lungs and I tried to cry until I realized I’d never stopped. What was I going to do now???
I knew what was supposed to happen...every Christian male was to be killed and every female brought to one of their camps where they would be “indoctrinated” with a serum shot to erase their memories and alter their thoughts. After this step was considered “successful” they would be taken as wives for the “approved” men who were in the militant religious group that had taken over our country. As husband and wife they would repopulate the country with children brought up in “the truth” as taught by their leader.
For some reason, the serum didn’t work on me. Oh, I let them believe that is was slowly making a difference. But I was really just stalling until I found my family or some way of escape. And I had lost both. What was the point in living anymore? I thought. I’ll never agree to what they are demanding and so they’ll probably kill me eventually. I had no idea where my family was or if there even was a chance of finding them!
Maybe I fell asleep, maybe I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I hadn’t noticed it had gotten dark and I was alone beside the fountain. Either way, I was sure I was dreaming when my brother, Tommy, came walking calmly up to me. He sat down beside me and said, “I thought I’d never find you! Do you know where anyone else is?!?”
I said, “They killed Daniel before we made it here. Tim and I were running when they shot him. I’m alone now.”
“No,” Tommy said, “You’re not.” Looking me straight in the eyes he said, “We’ll get through this together and we’ll find others on the way.” Realizing that I was still myself and not altered by the serum he said, “How are you doing this? How are you still alive if it’s not working on you?”
“I’m not sure, honestly. I don’t know why it’s not working. It seems to put everyone else into some kind of dream-like trance as they go about their days. But I just stay awake, no matter how much they use” I said. “Now, what are we going to do, how are we going to get out of here? YOU especially have to get out of here!”
Shaking his head, Tommy replied, “We can’t get out of here. Many people besides you and Tim have tried and failed. Besides, where would we go? It’s like this everywhere!”
“So,” I said bewildered, “you’re idea is to just stay here? And what? Die? Go along with the lies and filth they’re replacing our lives with? They shot Daniel, there is no way I’m going to be the wife of the man who did THAT! I saw them kill Tim, I can’t just forget that. There’s no way they’re going to let me live once they figure out they can’t control me.”
Tommy said, “I don’t really have a plan. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Here he let me roll my eyes and sigh in defeat and anger. Then he continued, “But I do know what we have to do. We have to wake the others, Mary. There’s got to be other people who aren’t being changed either, or maybe those who aren’t too far gone. We can wake them up! I don’t know how we’ll do it, but we have to wake the others.”
This is a dream that I had when we moved to Arlington six years ago. For awhile I had this dream many times, each time a little more detail would fill in, but it was always the same; same story, same colors of gray, black, red, yellow and orange; and ended with me waking up after hearing, “We have to wake the others.” I had the same dream again a year ago when we moved here. I believe that God can speak to people through their dreams, and this has been one for me. I don’t know what it all means, or why, but it’s become a sort of mantra for ministry and life for me. God calls His people to live differently. To not get caught up in the world and all it has to offer, while at the same time being IN the world in order to make a difference. I have been awoken to what REAL life is about and what it’s like...and there are others going about their life without hope, meaning, true peace, joy and all that God has to offer. They are living their life in such a way to make them feel like everything’s ok, but to leave them feeling like there’s got to be more to life than what they’ve got. My friend, Jeff, drew a picture after I told some friends about this dream, and that picture hangs in our living room as a reminder....a reminder that I have a calling...a call to wake the others.