Stripes That Heal: A Dream on Atonement
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This morning I woke up sobbing.
This isn't something I do often. In fact, I don't think I have done that since I was a little child when I had nightmares. The truth of the matter was, when I woke up sobbing this morning, it was because of the pain I was feeling in my dream. It was very vivid. Not nearly as vivid as I am use to.
In my dream I was a soldier. I don't remember all the details, but the mission was to keep the peace. The people we were suppose to be protecting/keeping from killing each other were angry about something and it was not good. A mob broke out and me and my squad were isolated from the rest of our command. Sharp objects were being thrown and some of my fellow troops were being hurt and killed. To make matters worse, because of the fear, my fellow soldiers were firing at the mob and people were being hurt and killed on both sides.
My dream self could not stand it. I leapt forward shouting for them to stop and stripping off my gear! I could see the anger of the mob could not be satisfied without blood. Speaking to who I thought was the leader I proposed that I take the punishment that the mob felt needed to be doled out so no more would have to suffer or die. The leader was confused, but accepted this proposal.
Why the pain?
From that point on in the dream there was a haze of pain. I was bent over something and being whipped with the sharp objects that were being thrown earlier. At first the strokes of the whips were done with vengeful glee, but as things progressed and each person in the mob took their turn the stokes lessen, even if the pain did not.
Soon the mob and the other soldiers had joined me in weeping. The pain was so much and I cannot describe it, but the relief of saving lives out weighed the pain. It seemed to me, before I woke, that help had arrived. That the trial was over. That the sacrifice was enough. That lives had been saved.
After that I woke up breathing hard and sobbing into my pillow. The phantom pain was there. The relief was there. It was euphoric to say the least.
What I think it means.
Of late I have been struggling with my inner self. There are mistakes that I have made that I wish I could undo. It frustrates me when I fail and go back to those bad ways and habits. I tend to beat myself up about it in fact.
My wife and I regularly attend church and I have a faith in Christ that I thought was strong. But this dream had reminded me that that faith can be lost if not nurtured. In my dream, I was put in situation similar to Christ's Atonement. The phantom pain I felt was, I am sure, nothing like what Christ felt. After all, rather than just physical pain, he also bore the sins of a world on his shoulders. Still, I think that dream served to remind me that he has already paid the price and that I should go to him in my desires to be better. After all, Isaiah 53:5 says that, "With his stripes we are healed."
The End? No the Beginning.
I suppose as a forgetful and changeable human, I needed this reminder of Jesus Christ's Atoning Sacrifice as it relates to me. I have had this realization before. I have resolved before to be a better person to show my love and respect for my savior, but a reminded was needed. I was being prideful to take so much on my shoulders. Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." And Mosiah 3:17 says, "And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent."
I suppose the message I share today for me personally is a recommitment of my faith in Jesus Christ. I would hope that by sharing this I can help others in strengthening their faith in him or at least asking why they should have faith in him. I know through personal witness that he is my savior and redeemer. I know that through him I am saved from my failings. This dream served as a reminder of that. A reminder of his love. So this witness I leave in his name. The name of Jesus the Christ.