Dream of the Empty Bowl

This morning I awoke from a dream so real I could almost hear the trees rustling from the wind. This dream was different from most dreams I have had. I felt the Holy Spirit there.

For some reason, the dream occurred in a place similar to India, in the middle of a jungle. There was powdery sand on the ground flying slightly upward from the people walking around. I could hear the voices of people speaking with one another rising and falling in small burst followed by the sounds of laughter and pleasant conversations.

Even though I was in the dream no one could see me. I was just a ghost among the people getting a glimpse of their lives. My curiosity led me to a small town that bordered near a larger one. I felt drawn to one small building full of windows. It appeared to be a laundromat. The building is old, but the washing and drying machines hummed with life. Inside there were two adults doing their laundry, but I am focused on the small African boy with a blue nylon jacket with a single red stripe on each wrist of the coat. The boy is intently focused on a TV hanging suspended on the wall. I look to see what he is looking at and it is a breaking news story that has his full attention.

The reporter states that shots had been fired and two men had died along with one officer. I cannot explain it, but as soon as I saw the officer’s photo I knew it was the boy’s father. A lump crawled into my throat and I looked down.

The boy crumbled and fell to the ground crying out in a long guttural groan. I couldn’t help him by comforting him, since I was a ghost, but for some reason I could feel every bit of his agony over the loss of his father. I could feel a rift in the center of his soul from the anguish.

The despondent boy walked out of the laundromat and into the jungle barely paying attention to his own surroundings. Before long it was dusk and he came upon a village. We had arrived at the same place I entered the dream. There were many small crudely made shacks that had been savaged by the rain, some missing boards and you could see straight through some of the houses. The people here lived in poverty. But instead of the misery I had associated with their means, there was much laughter and happiness. Nearby a fire was crackling and a kettle sat over it. The aroma from the dinner being cooked caused the boy to realize his own hunger.

Several of the villagers gathered around the fire to fill their bowls. The African boy’s blue jacket stood in stark contrast to the rags hanging on the people who lived in the small village. Next to the fire stood a small stack of bowls. The boy reaches down to pick one up, hoping to get something to eat. The villagers take turn after turn filling them up, not even noticing the stranger there. Finally, when the last villager filled his up he turned to leave and noticed the child, causing the local native to drop his mouth in surprise.

Suddenly, all the villagers watched the boy meekly walk over to the large pot, grab the large spoon, but once he reached inside he found the contents inside gone; no more soup. The boy dropped the spoon and cried as he held the empty bowl in his hands.

In the middle of the small crowd, a small child with long black hair and dark eyes walked toward the boy with his own bowl of soup. The small Indian boy reached down and grabbed the boy’s hand holding the soup bowl. He then poured his soup into the bowl giving away his meal for the night.

Then a voice spoke shortly before the dream ended, “All you have is all you need.”

When I woke, I went to spend my quiet time with God. Remarkably the following verse was part of my study:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.-2 Corinthians 1:3

Sometimes our lives is like an empty bowl with nothing left inside. But others can share what they have to fill the bowl up. And when they do, they leave a little bit of themselves.

Maybe you don’t think you can help someone, but I want to challenge you today.

All you have is all you need.

Picture courtesy of the Mary Rose Trust

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