I awoke from a dream drenched in tears, praying, “I wanna be that guy, Lord. I wanna be that guy.”
I was part of a church group participating with the Army in some sort of relief effort. My group had taken over the general purpose mess hall, where we ate first, then the soldiers ate a different meal after we were served. As we bunked in their barracks, the soldiers had to bivouac in the cold warehouse next door, and most of them were okay with that.
I know it was an army facility because one night they staged a contact game of some kind. Before the game started, the rifle squad stood tall on the knoll and snapped to attention at present arms as the PA system began playing our national anthem and the Stars and Stripes were raised somewhere out of sight. I too snapped to attention, with my right hand over my heart, filled with gratitude for being allowed to participate in the work we were doing.
As this was a dream, I feel fortunate to remember only snippets of it after waking, but what I do remember humbles me anew.
In one segment I happened by while some soldiers unloaded ice blocks from the back of a truck. I saw a gap in the process, so I stepped in to help record the order, right on that cold, water-soaked truck bed. Despite my good intentions, though, I couldn’t find dry scraps of paper for recording the serial numbers from the ice blocks, and yes, they don’t really stamp serial numbers on ice blocks, but this was a dream, after all. The point is, I tried to fill the gap, even though it wasn’t my responsibility.
Another segment had me standing near some soldiers trying to safely remove a large sign from the building’s front. A man standing on a ladder and one reaching out from an awning were about to lose their load, so I ran over to the weak end and offered my support. Oddly, the three other guys in the work detail were facing the other way, smoking and joking around. That time I proved a valuable resource when I filled the gap.
Still another segment had me in a similar situation to the ice unloading detail, but the soldiers were unloading large, military-looking bundles of parkas and such. I stepped up to the truck bed and held my arms out to receive one of those heavy bundles, passed it through a doorway, and kept doing so until the job was done, and I was as sweaty and dirty as the soldiers I was helping.
Next, as I was late getting to the mess hall because I was helping the men, I missed my group’s dinner, but the soldiers who were still in the chow line handed me a plate so I could eat with them. Without intending to, I had become one of the workers, and I felt like a contributor, rather than just a consumer.
That dream evening I stood looking out one of the mess hall’s windows as a praise hymn began in the background, and a powerful gratitude filled my eyes with tears as I awoke, repeating, “I wanna be that guy, Lord. I wanna be that guy.” Now I realize that I was really saying, "I wanna be like You, Lord. I wanna be like You."