08 May 2006

Dreaming of Darfur

A few years ago, just months before I began to hear news of the Darfur genocides, I had this graphic dream that still haunts me today. It is so vividly ingrained into my memory. [No dramatizations -- this is exactly as I remember the dream.]


The sun beat down upon my head with intense heat. It was noon, for the sun stood directly overhead. I stood in the dusty courtyard of a dilapidated one-story building, which appeared to be an abandoned schoolhouse. Everything was a hazy beige color - hot and drab.

I wore a black burka -- I didn't know why, but I knew that I would be in great danger if my identity was revealed. Women and children began to fill the courtyard. They looked absolutely frightened -- I'll never forget those terrified faces. I noticed they all had very dark skin, and deduced they were Sudanese.

Then I noticed the men with guns. I hung back in the shadows of a portico. The gunmen took no notice of me because there were other women covered in burkas standing around and watching. The gunmen corralled the group of women and children into a tight circle. Mothers held their children to their bosoms. Some began to cry.

There was a small boy of about two years standing on the outskirts of the group. I motioned him to come to me. The gunmen did not see me hide the small boy in the large folds of my burka.

No sooner was the child hidden, then the gunmen opened fire on the group of women and children. None survived. Their screams, the blood -- every graphic detail is burned deeply into my memory. It was horrifically real.

The next thing I knew, it was dark. I was running with the child in my arms, angry voices shouted behind me. Shots rang out. Far into the night I ran through the brush into the wilderness. Finally, I came upon another ruinous building -- not much more than large concrete slabs propped against each other. The sun began to rise.

Here, the child and I sought shelter. I hid him in a crevice, while I went in search of anything that could be used or eaten. I climbed over a low wall, but what I saw on the other side made my heart stop.

A dark-skinned man in military uniform stood before me, holding a gun. My veil had slipped off during the escape, revealing my fair face. It was over... I raised my arms in a gesture of surrender. My thoughts were with the child. I trembled with fear.

The man smiled warmly at me.

"Do not fear, Sister, it is only a disguise." He turned toward a fallen door, calling "Brother, we have a sister here," and grinned broadly. A fairer-skinned man in similar attire emerged from the door. I immediately recognized him as my husband. [In the dream I could see his face, but as soon as I woke I could not remember it, hard as I tried -- it was really strange.] He embraced me and lead me to a chamber beneath the ruins (after retrieving the child). It was large and cool. Light filtered through the broken concrete. I looked around to see at least fifty other people -- mostly women and children -- all refugees.

My husband and the other uniformed man lead me to a smaller adjoining room. They began telling me of their plans to escape and get help to evacuate the rapidly growing group of refugees. I agreed to protect the refugees until my husband returned with aid.

The next morning, my husband and the other man left. I watched as they disappeared into the brush, holding the child in my arms and wondering if they would return alive.

Then I woke up.

A few months later, when I read of the Darfur killings, chills ran down my spine. I couldn't help but wonder if my dream would one day become a reality.


At 08 May, 2006 17:14, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said...

Oh, that's a bit freaky. Not quite sure what to make of it yet.

I have had dreams where there was a husband or boyfriend or some form of significant other that had a face in the dream that I just cannot remember in the morning. It's probably just as well. If I did remember it I would freak out if I ever saw someone who looked like that.

At 08 May, 2006 18:12, Blogger Redeemed said...

Carey, woah, that is real freaky.

I bet you don't forget dreams like those. I have had a few freaky and weird dreams that are still very vivid in my mind. They just stick with you.

At 08 May, 2006 21:02, Blogger Carey said...

Yeah, dreams like that stick with you. I often think the Lord has some purpose in dreams like that. Just what the purpose is in this dream I don't know... but maybe someday I will.

Angie - yeah, I think I would freak out too. Just as well. I couldn't tell you anything about what my husband in the dream looked like. All I know is that he was paler than the other guy (which could be just about anything). It was so bizarre. I knew that face and recognized it, but couldn't remember for the life of me what he looked like after I awoke from my dream.

At 09 May, 2006 01:08, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sounds very disturbing.


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