The Man I Saw in My Dream

It seemed to us such a simple thing to prepare a little more food so that the street people at the end of the line could eat as well as those who slept at the mission, so we asked Chef Jim for that favor and he agreed. From then on, it thrilled us to serve the street people the good stuff, like fried chicken, roast beef, and spaghetti and meatballs.

That was the first time I tried to do something to improve the lives of the people Deborah had dragged me along to serve. I hadn't yet touched any of them, but already they were touching me. On our third Tuesday of serving, Deborah and I were in the dining hall helping Chef Jim prepare the extra food. Blind Brother Bill had just finished preaching on forgiveness and his congregants were filing in to eat, when we heard the crash of metal and a man roaring in anger near the chapel door. Alarmed, we turned to see about twenty people scatter as a huge, angry black man hurled another chair across the dining hall floor.

“I'm gon' kill whoever done it!” he screamed. “I'm gon' kill whoever stole my shoes!” Then he sprayed the air with a volley of curses and advanced into the crowd, roundhousing his fists at anyone stupid enough to get in his way.

It looked for all the world like a gangland brawl was going to explode right there at the chapel door. As I scanned the room for mission personnel to save the day, Deborah leaned in and whispered excitedly in my ear.

“That's him!”

“What!” I said impatiently. “What are you talking about?”

“That's the man I saw in my dream! The one who changes the city. That's him!”

I turned and looked at Deborah as though she had truly gone over the edge. Across the room, a group of mission workers burst in and began pouring soothing words on the raging man's temper. Grudgingly, he allowed himself to be led away.

“That's him,” Deborah said again, eyes sparkling. “I think you should try to make friends with him.”

“Me!” My eyes widened in disbelief. “Did you not notice that the man you want me to make friends with just threatened to kill twenty people?”

She laid her hand on my shoulder and tilted her head with a smile. “I really think God's laid it on my heart that you need to reach out to him.”

“Sorry,” I said, trying hard to ignore the head tilt, “but I wasn't at that meeting where you heard from God.”

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Taken from Same Kind of Different As Me Movie Edition by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Copyright © 2017, 2006 by Ron Hall. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.