He was a religious man. A short man with trimmed, graying hair, severe glasses, and an invisible sword of memorized scripture. He used this sword to control his family and even hurt them. The power of his influence was intoxicating. His wife and children dared not stand up to him.
I watched the son’s face redden as he choked and spilled hot tears and struggled to cry, much less breath. The father had his son lifted off the ground by his head and was spouting off the laws, the falling short, the punishment. Inside, I was screaming and wanted to choke the man to death, but I knew the mark would be missed. I looked away and waited, hoping. He set his son back down to recover, then delivered a violet blow to his backside that nearly toppled him.
The cycle of threat, fear, and punishment was infuriating. I nearly screamed at the father, but managed to stay calm. “Stop it, now! This is not the way!” Instantly, his pious eyes shifted from the boy to me, and his hands clamped on my wrist as if he could intimidate me into submission. I stared back firmly.
He released my hand, sat down, but not before delivering another angry blow to the son’s back side. (He never left marks anywhere else. Probably initiative of Proverbs. Clearly abused scripture. Not sure how he missed meeting Jesus in Matthew.)
This time, I grabbed his hand, nearly shouting, “Listen to me!” My voice calmed, my eyes entreating, “Love is the greatest chastening.” I can’t remember the exact words, but as I try to write it, that’s what comes. It’s been replaying in my mind ever since.
The dream continued before I was able to say more. The bizarre saga progressed with the religious man chasing me in fury over a ski slope. Somehow I had managed to speak to the son, and the father was trying to retrieve him. Who knows what his plan was for me. Then, the chase led through corridors, elevators, stairs…
The final scene came to a climax when he caught up with me at a dead end and I dealt a kick to his stomach as he attacked me. I’m not sure what happened, but the sense of danger left after that point. Strangely, the dead end was a balcony overlooking a wedding ceremony that was nearly underway.
Lots of bizarre details.
I’m not sure why, but lately, I keep coming across child abuse stories. Then last night, I had that dream. Abuse makes me sick. I can’t even handle seeing chickens do their brutal chicken thing. 🙂 (When I was younger, I would chase down the cat that was torturing a mouse he caught. Hopefully, I didn’t abuse the cat for abusing the mouse. 😉 )
Sure, call me sensitive, but I know God did not design people like animals. Power was given to man to empower, not to dominate with fear and control. Period. Otherwise, leadership morphs into tyranny.
Fear and manipulation may mold subjects, but love and humility will empower leaders.
Look at Christ. He is God, the greatest power and authority over man. Look how he exercised authority over man: He died. He became a humble man and died.
When God parents me, He is humble. Sometimes, He is very firm, but He does not shame or coerce me. Christ hung naked, so I don’t have to be shamed. Christ was beaten, so I could be free. Christ went to the grave, so love could overcome fear.
If Jesus is in me, Jesus should come out of me.
Are we not to be like Christ?
To be continued…