I dreamed that I was with my wife and a team of people. We were in an alien landscape of rubble, ruin and devastation. I didn’t see others, but had a sense that the place was filled with millions of refugees: without home or any shelter, constantly on the move looking for a better place. We knew that everything was ruined, all transportation was destroyed, and all roads were blocked by crowds of haunted survivors.
Because we knew this, we were looking at a swollen but devastated river, full of debris. We found a huge barge, like a ship made to transport containers, but the deck rode low over the water. It was listing in the river looking broken and grounded. Our team got to work, digging the ship out of the mud, repairing engines, rebuilding broken sections. It had an immense deck that covered the extent of the vessel, with a two-story steering house at the far end, and living quarters below.
Soon we were on our way, but the river was clogged with pieces of destroyed buildings, twisted bridges, hunks of concrete and plates of steel. The going was slow, as we worked to clear debris so the ship could pass. The river and land was denuded of life; there were no trees, grass or plants anywhere as far as we could see — only ruined devastation.
As we worked clearing huge sheets of broken metal out of the river in one section, I noticed thin cattails and reeds growing up between. I called out and told the team to gently pull the river plants and place them in buckets full of water on the deck of the ship. So we gathered the only life we had encountered, and cleared away the sheets of metal. In the buckets the reeds and cattail plants began to thicken, grow and multiply.
In certain spots the rubble in the river was too immense to move. We began to command the rubble to be moved out of the river as we stood on the deck of the ship, and the piles of broken civilization moved out of the way ahead of us. In the process, we started to command whole sections of broken and burnt-out buildings on the riversides to be re-built. They came together in a whole condition, but still in need of restoration work.
As we slowly made it upstream, we came to an area where there was nothing for as far as we could see. Scorched, barren earth stretched away from the water’s edge. It was here I jumped out, calling to the rest to replant the reeds and cattails. We caught up the buckets full of now sturdy water plants and jumped off the deck, onto the banks. We quickly planted clusters and rows of them, running ahead to keep up with the ship and planting some more. When all were replanted along the river, we looked back and saw them growing, populating and filling in — quickly creating new habitats of life where there had been only barrenness.
As we progressed, the debris became denser, but we got better at commanding the way open. The going was slow, but steady now. In the buckets on the deck small trees started to grow. They grew fast — almost imperceptibly, but after a day they were tall saplings. After another day they were fully branching out. If you stared at them steadily, you could see the growth happening before your eyes. Before long we were pruning them so that we could still see our way from the steering house at the back of the ship.
Soon after that, the trees on deck were fruiting! We joyfully ate all we could, then we threw the rest one by one onto the banks of the river. Where a piece of fruit landed a cluster of saplings sprung up — we were then leaving groves of fruit trees along the banks of the river in place of the rubble and destruction. Every week the trees were covered with a new kind of fruit each time; we kept eating and planting all along as we traveled up the river.
We had a sense of urgency. We knew that we had to get to the capital city, ground zero for all the destruction, and the greatest center of need. We knew that when we got there we would be able to bring help and wholeness, we could begin a process of restoration that would heal the people and the land. We had to get there. We were almost there.
What do you get from it?