Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.(Joel 2:28 NRS)
Four iconic words ring the air today. They are woven into the fabric of our nation even as they help us celebrate the life, vision and ministry of a man gone too soon.
“I have a dream …”
Standing up for justice and creating social change is hard. It takes vision and determination. It takes breaking down walls and stereotypes and creating in their place dialogue and relationships. It takes embracing a dream and working diligently with others to make it a reality. It also takes time. Lots of time.
Thinking of Dr. King, he has inspired a nation and set in motion a movement that continues beyond his years. He alsp left as his legacy a model for change.
Listening to his speech once more makes me realize that I have a dream, too.
I have a dream that all children, on or off the spectrum, with or without a genetic difference, with or without typical body, will have friends. I have a dream that bullying will end and understanding will take its place. I have a dream that child and adult alike will be accommodated for their differences out of a sense of equality and compassion. I have a dream that everyone who wants to be part of a church will find ministries ready to receive them. I have a dream that no parent will feel alone on the journey with special needs. I have a dream that all families, whatever their shape and size, will grow in resilience rather than being torn apart by disability. I have a dream that communities full of understanding will offer refuge, hope and healing for the heart and soul.
My dream keeps me up late at night and prompts me out of bed early in the morning. My dream makes “good enough” not an option. My dream leaves me exhausted and stretched too thin at times, but filled with joy and hope as well. My dream connects me with others who share my vision for social change in the area of special needs and work toward it diligently. My dream keeps me grounded in God’s path for me and guides what I do every day.
I will never be the leader Dr. King was, but he inspires me with what is possible. I too have a role to play in making the collective dreams of many families living with disability become reality. We all do.
When you dream of the future, what do you see? How are you helping that dream come a step closer day by day?
God of our visions, thank you for directing us to better live as your people. Help us to always strive for your justice. Create for us a dream for the world as you would have it and inspire us to follow your vision. Amen.
“Martin Luther King – March on Washington” by Unknown? – This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 542069. Public Domain.