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I awakened at 4:45AM, Wednesday, August 22nd, 2001. I felt rested from a good night’s sleep. Before getting out of bed the dream replayed in my conscious mind. This is what I dreamed:

I was with a church group of people, men and women, of various ages. None of the people were known by face or name to me. No names were mentioned in the dream.

The group was concerned with a violation or a transgression that I had committed. The transgression was not named nor was I aware that I had done anything wrong; I did not affirm innocence or guilt. But the group was confident in their judgment and that punishment was in order.

A man stepped forward and called the group to order. He stated that the transgressor must be punished. He had the people prepare a gauntlet: a form of punishment in which men armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them. I didn’t protest nor resist; I walked though the gauntlet. Most people were standing but some were kneeling.

As I walked slowly through the line I felt no blows or stings from the people. Whether they struck me with their hands or with rods I don’t know. I do know that I felt no physical pain from passing through the gauntlet.

After the judgment and punishment was accomplished I was seated at a table. A man came over and asked, “Well, what did you think about this?”

An emotion welled up inside me and I hit my clenched fist down upon the table. I replied, “ We have been reading the New Testament for fifty years and we are more eager to punish than we are to forgive!” Then I felt the pain.

That was the last image and those were the last words spoken in my dream.

Once I was awake these words of Jesus came to mind, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” And other statements from God’s Word like “mercy triumphs over judgment” and “if you do not forgive neither will your heavenly Father forgive you.” - Larry Deason

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