a few days ago was martin luther king day, and for the first time ever, vanderbilt gave us a three day weekend. it was thrilling, it was wonderful, and it let us actually have some programming and reflect on the reason for the holiday. to be honest, i didn’t go to much of the programming- i did a service project and went to a vesper’s service, but it was more than i’d thought about MLK day since high school at least. this was a man who changed the world because he had a dream. it’s hard for me, even living in the deep dark south (not really) of nashville, tn, to imagine the life that dr. king was protesting. segregation has never really been a fact of life for me, and it’s something that absolutely breaks my heart. dr. king changed the world because he lived peace even when faced with injustice, and he worked through love when faced with hate.
i used to never cry. i think i probably went almost three years without crying not too long ago. and then at some point the dam bust open, and now i tear up all the time. in fact, almost anything related to injustice of any kind makes me choke up. commercials. papers we read in class. readings of MLK Jr.’s works at a vesper’s service. pictures of barefoot children. movies about children failing out of school.
and i’ve realized that i have so many, many dreams. 48 years ago dr. king told this country that he had a dream, and it changed everything. i won’t even begin to pretend that i am as powerful, influential, or intelligent as he was, but yet i dream.
i have a dream that someday all children in this country and around the world will be taught how to read regardless of their ability to pay. i have a dream that all children will have the opportunity to graduate high school, and those who don’t will not drop out because of the insufficiency of their school and teachers.
i have a dream that every child will have the opportunities to realize their own dreams.
i have a dream that the beautiful, broken children in this country who have been removed from their homes for whatever reason will find a family, for however long they need one, that will love them and care for them, for as long as they should need a home.
i have a dream of no more hunger.
i have a dream where the people on this earth, the people made in god’s image, would be loved as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, history, future, disease, or decisions they have made.
i have so many, many dreams.
in the beginning of the jesus storybook bible, sally lloyd jones eloquently tells the story of the fall. here is a small taste:
… terrible pain came into God’s heart. His children hadn’t just broken one rule; they had broken God’s heart. they had broken their wonderful relationship with him. And now he knew everything else would break. God’s creation would start to unravel, and come undone, and go wrong. From now on everything would die- even though it was all supposed to last forever. You see, sin had come into God’s perfect world. And it would never leave. God’s children would be always running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again. God couldn’t let his children live forever, not in such pain, not without him.
i know that we live in a world of sin, and that this is reality. but i also know that my dream is not in vain. we have so many stories left to live, but someday…
One day, John knew, Heaven would come down and mend God’s broken world and make it our true, perfect home once again. And he knew, in some mysterious way that would be hard to explain, that everything was going to be more wonderful for once having been so sad. And he knew that the ending of The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just a shadow that is chased away by the morning sun.
so today- may you cry out for change. may you dream. may your heart be broken for the brokenness all around us. but may you also hope in knowing the end of the story. amen.