This was originally written 1/11/10
So, I just had this weird dream. I was standing out by some cars on the corner of a downtown street. I was there with two friends of mine, both of which were female. In the interest of protecting identity, we will call them Susan and Kristy, and my relation to them is they are young women who attend my college and career class. The three of us had been hanging out and we were walking Susan back to her vehicle. We were just standing there, casually talking next to Susan’s car.
As we were about to leave, this black man walked up, passed us, and walked up to the vehicle parked behind Susan’s. For some reason, I guess to be nice or something, Susan opened the door to his car (at least I hope it was his car) for him. It was weird because we were in mid-conversation and she just did it, almost automatically. It was like she was doing it sub-consciously, as if it was something she always does for someone she knows.
He didn’t even miss a beat—he took a hold of the door and says to her, “Get in.” She starts laughing at the absurdity of the command. The ironic thing about the situation, I must add, is that I’m not but four feet from the guy, with Kristy was even further away, behind Sonya. It stuck me as odd that this guy would have the audacity to try to kidnap someone right in front of me. So when she starts laughing, he pulls out this little pocketknife. It was rather pathetic. It looked like the little mini Swiss Army Knife that you would keep on your key chain.
So, I’m still amazed that this dude is so bold as to do this, literally, right next to me. Before I even realize it, and before Susan and Kristy see the knife, and the threat for what it was, I tackled him into the car. I get him pinned and ask him what’s wrong with him. He looked at me with absolute confusion—scared and amazed. He looked as if something he couldn’t explain had just happened. I thought that odd as well, for who wouldn’t have thought that someone witnessing a guy trying to kidnap a woman at knife-point wouldn’t intervene?
He kept pleading with me, telling me how sorry he was, like a child trying to get out of punishment because he knew he had done wrong. I started to interrogate him briefly, asking him why he’d do such a thing, stating how wrong it was. He all but broke down, agreeing with me that it was wrong.
So then, for some reason, I started talking to him about God. I asked him if he knew what grace was. He paused, and eventually said, “Favor.” I said, “Unmerited favor. It’s the favor that God gives you, even when you don’t deserve it. This is the favor that God offers us. Now, you don’t deserve to be released. You deserve to be prosecuted and tried by a jury of peers for what you’ve done. You deserve punishment for your wicked intentions, but God saw fit to grant you an alternative. He saw fit to offer you grace. Do you accept His grace?”
At this point, he start back-peddling a bit, as if he’s all of a sudden unsure of what I’m presenting him. He was trying to come up with excuses not to be involved with what I was offering. It struck me odd, once more, that he was so resistant to a free pardon. So I said, “I’m not asking you to get saved—I’m asking you if you accept grace.” I said it rather forcefully, almost like I was, for the first time in the situation, getting annoyed with him.
When I said that, he seemed to calm a bit and considered what I saying. “All I’m asking is if you are willing to receive grace in this situation. You deserve for her to press charges, but I’m offering you favor, that you don’t deserve, in light of your transgression. I’m offering you grace, but you’ve got to receive it.”
Reluctantly, he accepted. I released him and backed away, slowly, with Kristy and Susan behind me. I quickly got Susan to her car while keeping an eye on him. He composed himself and just drove away.
I don’t typically have dreams that are vivid and that I continue to remember after I awake. It was so real that I immediately got up and started typing so that I wouldn’t forget anything. There was more before this part and more after this point, but this is the part that I believe has some meaning to it. As I was typing it up, God started showing me some interesting things.
First of all, the part where Susan opens the door for the stranger so nonchalantly, is an illustration of how openly we are letting the enemy into our lives, giving him opportunity after opportunity to wreak havoc. We do it so often that it’s become second nature, for we do it without even thinking about it. This is obviously dangerous, for we never have the chance of warning, so we never have the ability to throw up a red flag, let alone consider it.
Then we have her response—laughter. This showed me that we don’t take the threats the enemy issues seriously. We think we are safe and secure and nothing is ever going to hurt us. Yeah, we might say we don’t think that way, but our actions prove differently. The greatest lie Satan would have us believe is that he doesn’t exist. If we consider his presence and threat as ridiculous, then he has us right where he wants us.
Thirdly, there is the fact that he would have the audacity to pull a knife on someone right in front of me. There are two issues here. The first one shows that the enemy is so used to the complacency of Christianity that he actually didn’t think anyone would care enough to intervene on the behalf of someone else. This illustration speaks shame to the Children of God for their selfish and self-serving nature. The stranger was so sure that I wouldn’t intervene and that point was proven by the sheer look of surprise and shock when I tackled him.
The other issue was his choice of such an absurd weapon. In my mind, that is a laughable thing, but that’s not issue here—he wasn’t trying to kidnap me. The fact is, the enemy has us so defeated that he doesn’t need much to over-take us and this illustration proves that. He was confident that he had all he needed to overpower Susan.
Then we have my response in this situation. I don’t know that I would respond the way I did in my dream if this actually transpired in real life. I don’t romanticize over heroic acts of intervening on the behalf of women in distress. However, in this particular situation, my dream showed that I responded by granting grace to this man. Would I have done that in real life? Would you if you were in that situation?
Now think about this—I was standing in the gap between Susan and the stranger. Yet, I never gave her the option of pressing charges. I saw a need, I fulfilled the need, and I deal with the person as I saw fit, without the input of the offended party. Some people would think that to be wrong. But consider the parallel theme here—that is exactly what Jesus did. He saw the need to intervene on our behalf, between God and us. We were the enemy. We were the ones who offended God with our sin. But, Jesus stood in the gap for us, interceding on our behalf. Then, He dealt with us as He saw fit and offered us grace, without consulting the offended party, God. Granted, that was God’s wishes as well, but the Bible says that Jesus is the Judge at the end of days, not God.