Keep Dreaming




I have this recurring dream that I usually will dream right as I am drifting off to sleep.  It's nothing elaborate---just a head-on car crash... that's all.  

When it happens, I will awake with a jolt, typically with a feeling of falling forward.  Also, I almost always have that dream when I am feeling stressed, tired, worried, or just harboring a feeling of impending doom.  

Which is pretty much how I feel every other day right about now.  

The other night I had this elaborate dream where I ended up driving my car off the edge of one of those really tall on-ramps that we have in Austin.  As the car was sailing over the side and into oblivion, I  turned to my unknown passenger and said, "I'm sorry."  

I know--it's messed up.  

There's so much that I feel right about now---feelings that have been difficult to put into words.  There are days when I've had just enough bad cable news, just enough encounters on social media with angry, frightened people to feel like I'm about to drive over the edge.  

Some days it feels like things will never be right again.  It feels as though we will never be able to come to any kind of unity in America over even the most basic things like equality, health, and well-being.  

It also feels like that for many of us, our definitions of what constitutes the common good are separated by a great partisan gulf that will never be bridged.  It's like we're not even seeing the same things.  

Still, I hold on to hope.  I hold on to the hope that the dreams I'm having will be replaced by beautiful ones, hope-filled ones that might actually come true.  

I read this poem by Langston Hughes the other day that gave voice to that longing within me.  

The Dream Keeper 
Bring me all your dreams, 
You dreamers, 
Bring me all of your 
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them 
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers 
Of the world. 

Is it the voice of God speaking in the poem?  Perhaps.  It could be the voice of God telling us that our secret dreams are safe with God.  It could be the voice of God assuring us it's okay to dream of a better world, a more just world, a world united in seeking the actual common good... for all.  

A world where we're able to differentiate between personal freedom and responsibility.  A world where we don't politicize viruses.  A world where everyone is given the opportunity to fairly and equitably pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  

It could be the voice of God telling us we are safe to bring our dreams to God, and they will not be lost or dismissed.  If so, it reminds me of the words of Jesus, who told those who were listening to him: 
Come to me all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest.  
I learned that verse when I was a little kid in a church context where the people asking me to memorize didn't really understand it at all.  They assumed that the call from Jesus was to too-weary "sinners" who were tired of living a life of sin, and wanted to get right with God.

But it's more than that for sure.  Jesus was speaking to people who had grown weary with all of the rules, regulations, checklists, and pressures that were being placed on them by the overly-religious crowd.    They had given up on their dreams for a just and inclusive world... a world filled with hope in the midst of even the worst circumstances. 

And Jesus reminded them that their dreams were safe with him... safe with God... safe with the Dream Keeper, who protects our dreams from the "too-rough" fingers of the world. 

So we keep going.  What else are we to do, right?  We move forward in faith and hope that the dreams we hold tightly in our hearts will one day be realized. 

We move forward knowing that despite all that seems overwhelming and impossible--the Dream Keeper is the God of the impossible, the champion of lost causes, the restorer of diminished hope and the One who resurrects that which we thought was dead and gone.   

I read this line from a Wendell Berry poem the other day and it resonated with me--especially considering what I've just written:  
He knows if he can hold out long enough, the good is given its chance. 
If we can just hold on long enough... If we can keep the faith a bit longer... If we can trust our dreams to God... perhaps we will begin to see that "the good" is given its chance at last.  We might be able to see our dreams for a better world come true right before our eyes. 

Keep going... keep holding on... keep dreaming. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen. 

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