There is a huge immigration debate in America. Our borders are overrun with illegal migrant workers who are often depicted as: aliens, uneducated, dirty, fruit pickers, field hands. These prejudicial images and stereotypes aren’t pretty.
Against this backdrop, I had a detailed dream where I was standing in a sea of people before the throne of God. I saw well known ministers, invisible ministers, people who had falsely accused me, people who had justly accused me, and many people I didn’t know. Weird, but everyone had a black spot on their chest. The numbers were too vast to count. I was standing pretty close to a tele-evangelist known for $1,000 suits and for boasting of many healings. I had the distinct impression he was impatiently waiting for the Lord to finish speaking to hand him a microphone!
We were all wearing name badges and (like military insignias) badges of rank. The Lord spoke to this vast group yet we each heard him as if he were only speaking to us individually, “Lay down your ministry, your vision, your promises. I have new assignments for each of you.” We all assumed a promotion. Then all went dead silent while the Holy Spirit ministered to each of us. To me he spoke, “I want you to become a field hand, a migrant worker. Go pick fruit.”
I was horrified. What is lower than a fruit picking migrant worker?
I burned with shame wondering what my family would think. How would we live? What about my hard won education? I have struggled with Lupus for years and cannot stand being in sunlight for long stretches of time. Such a call to work in the fields would surely kill me!
Finally, I bowed my head while weeping and said, “Thy will be done.” I stripped myself of my nice suit and donned the cheap clothing of a migrant worker. I told myself that if all I am capable of doing is harvesting fruit for the Lord then I would do it with all my heart. I felt something inside of me begin to shake violently, burn and finally die.
Though he slay me, yet will I serve Him, indeed! It occurred to me much later that migrant is just another way of saying “stranger and alien”.
Anyway, I looked up and saw a great separation take place. I realized that the Lord had whispered this exact same calling to everyone there. We were all being called to be migrant fruit pickers. This vast company were all ministers of the Gospel. The hard shock was that the great majority of those standing there heard this call to go be migrant laborers and had said, “No.”
I could hear the angry complaints: I built this church… I am too important … This ministry cannot survive without my leadership… If these fruit picking fools actually succeed, send the tithers to my church… and on and on. I could see sheep being culled from goats. It was like watching the birth of Gideon’s Army. Our ranks were greatly thinned and we were an unimpressive, motley lot. There was not a name tag, title, or rank insignia to be seen.
So there we were in our migrant worker clothes like people you would glance at and turn away from uncomfortably pretending that you did not see them. I noticed we all had a dark hole burned in our chests where the black spot had been and someone called out and asked about it. The Lord of the Harvest replied, “That thing that burned and died in each of you was your blinding pride.” And he breathed on us and the hole was filled with a kind of liquid light, His abiding Presence and glory!
I thought, “Oh, you cannot fill that which is full. You can only fill a vessel that has been first emptied.” I looked back at the great company of ministers who had disqualified themselves from their true callings and was suddenly glad to be in ragged clothes and holy company. The black marks on their chests were like a plague infection that suddenly began to ooze and spread. I thought, “They’re dead already and they don’t even know it.”
God is looking for those who will faithfully laborer for him to bring in the great harvest of souls that the seed of His blood had spilled into the earth to bring forth. Faithful Labor: There is no other qualification.
The Lord told us, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go forth. Be fruitful and multiply my Kingdom!”
As our company marched off into the harvest field to be inglorious, nameless field hands, I could hear those left behind sneering in contempt, shouting out catcalls about what fools were all were. They seemed oblivious that the Lord of the Harvest was standing in their midst watching, listening, weighing their every word. And his eyes burned with holy fire.
As a man with Lupus, I have to be very careful about where I go, what I eat, how long I am outside. Sunlight can kill people like me. I often get accused of being a hypochondriac because my symptoms change like the tide and I was ill for years before I got the correct diagnosis....
Anyway, in my dream, I realized I was – surprise! – standing with a few who had harshly judged me and realized that I had, in anger, turned around and done the exact same thing to them! I repented deeply. As I stepped into the harvest field and felt the sun beating down on me, I realized I had just joyously accepted a death sentence. I suddenly felt a surge of healing power flood through me and I was instantly made whole! Funny, but the power did its work and then stayed pulsating in my hands.