I had a dream last night which I’d like to share with you.
First, let me say that my wife, Laura, and I are taking a trip to New York next week, and while I’m excited, I’m always a little anxious before our little get-away’s, simply because my chronic pain is such a burden. I don’t sleep well, so I normally run outta steam around 1:00 or 2:00 and have to lie down. Then there’s the fact that it’s hard for me to walk for an extended length, so we have to schedule EVERYTHING around my pain and disabilities.
Laura doesn’t mind, she’s just happy to have me there, but it bothers me greatly. I just wanna be normal, but short of a literal, God-sent miracle, that ain’t gonna happen this side of Heaven.
So anyway, the dream…
I was walking through a crowded building of some sort, either a bus or train station, I think. In the dream, I don’t believe I was married, and was walking alone through a mass of people. I say “walking,” but it was more like limping. My back and legs were hurting SO bad, and got to where I could barely walk.
I tried to ask people for help, but nobody would even look at me. They were so busy with their own comings and goings that I was fully invisible to them. I was battling the darkness alone; shadowboxing.
“I know what I’ll do,” I thought, and then pretended to pass out. “When people see me lying helpless on the floor, they’ll run up to me. That’ll get ‘em to pay attention. That’ll get me a little mercy and compassion.”
But it didn’t work. I lay there on the floor with people walking around me, and some stepping over me. NOBODY stopped to help or even ask how I was doing. I finally gave up, and as I was trying to pull myself up, a young, 20-something lady snickered hatefully at me, making me feel like an even bigger fool than I already did.
It felt so lonely, so dejected, reaching out for help, with NO ONE caring at all. I was crying out for love, mercy and attention. I just wanted someone to show a little sympathy, but all I felt was isolation.
I would’ve been happy if ONE, SOLITARY PERSON said, “I’m so sorry you’re hurting. I love you. GOD loves you!”
Yet there I sat, on the floor in the middle of a bustling crowd, all alone, wanting to die.
And then I woke up. At first I was so relieved to know it was only a dream, but then a question hit me which rocked me to my core: “How many people feel like this every day?”
I suddenly recalled feeling trapped at Army basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina in my early 20s, thinking I was beyond hope. Nobody cared my body was failing, that I was failing, and when I asked the Drill Sargent for help, he basically said there was nothing he could do.
That’s why I tried to kill myself.
This dream was a stark reminder about all of you who feel trapped, lonely, depressed and helpless. Please let me tell you, there are people who care. I care, and would like for you to reach out if you need help.
You are not alone. I mean this not only in the sense that there are people who care, but moreso, I know exactly how you feel. I have a good career, an amazing wife of 34 ½ years, two great kids, each with a wonderful spouse, and two remarkable grandkids. Even with all this, however, I’ve been in so much pain lately. Compounding the physical pain have been my gnawing feelings of despair.
These feelings of despair have been nearly overwhelming at times, even as a Christian. Even as a happily married father and grandfather.
So yeah, I get it. It’s horrible, and sometimes it feels like a “successful day” for me is just not giving up.
I’m so sorry if you feel like nobody’s there for you, but I’d like to offer the following Bible verses to encourage you. Know that my family and I are praying for you, and that God loves you deeply as His child.
“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9 NLT)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT)
“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.” (Psalm 143:7-8 NLT)
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (I Peter 5:7 NLT)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 TLB)
“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.” (John 10:10 NIRV)
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
“This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)