So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18 They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19 They said to one another, ‘Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.’
The story of Joseph was a disturbing one to me growing up because I loved my siblings and couldn’t imagine wanting one of them dead or selling them into slavery (well that may have occurred to me). I later came to understand more fully the reason his brothers did not like him due to his dreams of them being subservient to him because of the Andrew Lloyd Webber interpretation of this biblical story.
I have always loved musicals and seeing Theatre Tuscaloosa’s version of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat several summers ago is one of my favorite memories. After receiving a pair of free passes from my accounting firm, I asked my very musically inclined nephew, Luke, if he would like to go. He said yes and we went, just the two of us.
I was familiar with the story of Joseph but I had some gaps in my knowledge about his brothers’ names becoming the twelve tribes of Israel and that God had changed his father’s name from Jacob to Israel. Having more adult knowledge of the biblical story and seeing the interesting interpretation of it in the musical made me think about what it means to be a dreamer. Joseph didn’t get to choose whether his dreams were good or bad; he just had them and then interpreted them. This gift of prophecy actually saves him from being a slave in Egypt because he is able to interpret the Pharoah’s dreams.
Being a dreamer is one thing I am usually not, but I do have dreams about curing some of the world’s ills, just as Joseph was able to help his brothers and family when famine had struck their land and they needed food. Feeding the hungry is something I occasionally thought about when I would donate cans to a food drive. Now, however, after working with a food pantry ministry and with Meals on Wheels, I see how important it is to feed people in Christ’s name. I look for opportunities to feed people and have actually found that I can cook a meal for 175 people, package it, and get others to deliver it. Who knew I had this skill? And I have always tried to donate to food pantries and other food drives; but I will be even more mindful of this now that it is not Thanksgiving or Christmas and continue to follow Joseph’s example of giving to people in need and dreaming big dreams about doing good.