An Empty Parking Lot

I had a dream last night. I’m in an empty parking lot. It’s dark, damp and vast; as if it were night and had just rained. A single, lonely street light in the middle of the lot casts the only illumination through a seemingly endless gloom.  The asphalt is cracked and weathered, the lines chipped and faded.  Shallow puddles gather here and there, reflecting the light and sending it . . . nowhere.

I wonder to myself what it would look like if this empty parking lot were filled with all the people who have ever wondered about, doubted or questioned their faith, like I have. Slowly, people begin filing in, wandering out from the darkness to take their place under the light.  Hmm, I think; interesting but not really the reaction I was envisioning. But then another idea hits me.

What if the parking lot were filled with all the people I have ever wronged?

Instantly the empty parking lot is filled to capacity. I mean standing room only, wall-to-wall people.

Wow! Oooookaaayyy. Again, not quite the reaction I was envisioning. More like what I was hoping for the first time.

The subconscious is a funny ol’ thing, isn’t it?

Slowly, it begins to dawn on me.  Maybe I need to speak to these people; apologize to them for whatever offense I’d caused. I think, if I just had a podium or a big raised platform, I could address them all at once. But then I think, no.  I need to wade into this huge mass of people.  Let it/them surround me, overwhelm me.  Talk to each of them individually; find out what it was I did and offer my apologies personally, one-on-one. It’s a scary thought and my heart races.  I don’t want to do it, but feel it’s the only thing I can do to set things “right”.  Then, just as I’m about to do that, just as I take my first step off the platform and immerse myself in the crowd, I wake up.

I’m shaking, overwhelmed with emotion, fear and trepidation.

You know the strangest part, though?

I also wanted to go back!

I actually wanted to go back into that dream, into that parking lot, face all those people and somehow make amends.

Yet again, not quite the reaction I was envisioning.

The conscience is a funny ol’ thing, isn’t it?

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