I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
What is it about listening to Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington speech that makes us believe this dream? Taken at face value, read on one of my cynical days, it seems to ride the line between dream and delusion, so far from the reality of the mess that our world has turned into.
Maybe that’s my problem, not his or yours. Maybe the temptation to settle for the crap that the world offers is too alluring for my weak hopefulness to resist. Maybe I’ve gotten tired and settled into a life and stopped imagining that dreams could come true.
Hope is still there somewhere, but directed at a future that doesn’t look like the present.
I’m not sure what my big dreams are. For whom do I want to advocate? How do I want to change the world?
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about dreams, large or small, it’s that they don’t happen without God’s help, and that they often look a lot like efforts to create the world that God wants for us.
Sometimes we catch fire. Our dreams meet the Spirit and swirl together into action that is more than we were ever capable of before. These are the wondrously dangerous dreams, the dreams that people shoot or nail to the cross. We know that dreams are targets because violence seems like the only thing that can stop their holy, inspired power.
Yet dreams rise up and endure, proving over and over that love is stronger than death.
What is your dream?