While reading the biblical story of Joseph welcoming his brothers into Egypt years after they had sold him into slavery (Genesis 45:1-15), and noticing his forgiving and gracious reception of those who did him in, it was clear to see that Joseph understood the bigger picture of God’s plan in the awful treatment his brothers gave him. Joseph held no grudges or desire for revenge. Instead, he welcomed his brothers, saying “God sent me here to preserve life.” He was able to offer his brothers refuge in Egypt from the famine that was rampant.
Joseph was a famous dreamer of dreams. He had vivid prophetic dreams which told him early on he would have power over his older siblings. This, of course, is what added fuel to the flames of sibling rivalry, resulting in his being sold into slavery. Later, Joseph’s dreams and ability to interpret dreams won him Pharaoh’s favor in Egypt. In other words, Joseph knew all along his troubles would lead him to greatness, even though he probably suffered greatly when his dreams seemed far from having anything to do with reality. However, he kept the faith and believed in his dreams.
Being in touch with one’s dreams over a long period of time gives one clues to the major themes, meanings, challenges, loves and tragedies of one’s life. Much of this drama is played out ahead of time in dreamtime if one is only “awake” enough to witness it, record it and remember it. As they say, the story is not nearly so scary when there is an inkling of the ending, and the drama doesn’t dominate one so much. An aware dreamer like Joseph is able to act with kindness because he or she understands the deeper meanings already suggested in dreamtime.
Joseph’s ability to see the big picture of his life surely made him understand that resentments, grudges and revenge had no place in the greater drama of God’s plan as shown to him in dreams. It lifted him above the level of cruelty and pettiness of his siblings to a higher consciousness where God gave him the grace to act well on a grand stage. If we are in touch with our dreams, they will guide us through the story of our lives, helping us to act with dignity and graciousness even in the worst of times.