Friday morning, just before my alarm went off, I had a dream.
And in the dream, I sinned.
Nothing overt, nothing external, even within the dream. Nothing I’d be ashamed to tell anyone – aside from the fact that it’s a sin.
In the dream, Bettie and I were riding the bus to a fairground. Not a specific fairground, not one I have been to or seen before. The bus was a city bus that takes fares. And when the time came to pay and get off, I only had a $10 bill for the $3 fare. I asked if any of the other riders had change for a ten. A guy gave me a handful of coins and I gave him the ten dollar bill. He said he’d get me the change. I was a little apprehensive, because there were a lot of nickels and dimes in there, but the money was enough to cover the fare.
Then I asked him for the seven dollars change. He laughed at me and said I wasn’t going to get any change. (I don’t remember the words he used, but he was laughing as if he conned somebody – which he had.)
I told him something like “I hope you like how you feel!” – and that was where I sinned. I did not turn the other cheek, or go the extra mile, or give him my coat after he had sued me for my shirt. I did not lead like Jesus. I was responding in the flesh (in the dream), not in God’s grace.
And that bothers me. I’m not trying to pull some “holier than thou” stuff on you. I don’t even know if it is theologically possible to sin in a dream (I think yes, but haven’t researched it, and don’t intend to). I just know I was not happy with myself when the alarm went off and I was still in that awake/asleep/dreams-are-real state.
And I remember (still in the dream) wanting to talk to Bettie afterwards, once she got off the dream bus, to find out what the guy did or how he acted after I stepped off the bus. That goes against the whole “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” that God says in Romans 12:19. I blew it twice.
So anonymous, professional guy on the bus in my dream, I apologize and seek your forgiveness. Even though you aren’t real, I sinned against you, and against God.
And the funny thing is, that if I had put the ten bucks straight into the bus, I still would have been out seven dollars, and wouldn’t have liked that, but in dream reality I was personally offended by this imaginary person. It wasn’t about the money – it was about my rights being trampled on. My pride being hurt. And yes, God is still working with me in that area.
I’m glad He is patient.