Tag Archives: King’s dream

Remember to Dream

MLK-600More than remembering his name or his birthdate, each year I am challenged to remember the dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  To be sure, it is God’s dream for humanity (Second Corinthians 5.11-21). Prophet and pastor, Dr. King is unmatched in his challenge to America’s citizens to be reconciled to one another.  Echoing God, it is a call to sit down at a table, to look into each other’s eyes, to share in what sustains us.  A minister of reconciliation, it is a dream that must come to fruition or our daily living will remain a nightmare.

There is no end to the number of wounds that we inflict upon each other.  The nightly news is to be avoided if you want to have a good night’s rest as we would certainly toss and turn after reports of police brutality, community unrest, political bickering, acts of terrorism and hate speech after hate speech.

We need to dream for the days are dark and life has become antagonistic.  It is indeed a fight to believe in all that is good and pure and true.  It can prove difficult to think on things that are praiseworthy (Philippians 4.8).  But, remember to dream.

This is a call for eyes open, out of bed, no pajamas or pillow dreaming.  This is not to be confused with the recitation of King’s dream but it should come from our minds and our mouths. While we are watching and praying, we must remember to dream for to dream is to hope and to believe.

The view from the mountaintop

mlkmountaintop1The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the most memorable speech of the 20th century.  His “I have a dream” speech is ranked number one on most lists and in the minds of many Americans.  No one has said anything to surpass it.  No one has dreamed bigger.  In fact, we have yet to realize it, to accept and understand what he was really asking of us.  Maybe this is why nothing more is said; instead, we point back to his dream.

This was not just great oratory, a demonstration of well- ordered words, of the perfect combination of intellect and passion.  King’s dream was a charge for all of America to change the reality of our society.  He said, in effect, that if we do not honor the words that we have declared then we are not the country that we say that we are, that we can make declarations of independence and pass laws that promise freedom but if we do not act to bring about change, then we are aiding and abetting a crippling fantasy.

I accept the charge.  I want my son to be seen for his character not the social coloring of his skin.  So, I will not give my son “the talk” as it relates to police officers, at least not in the fear- based way that it has been suggested.  He will not be afraid of law enforcement.  I have already instilled in him that sirens are “the sound of safety.”  They are coming to help someone.

And my son will be known by the police officers in his neighborhood by name because he will know them as members of his neighborhood.  My son will play with her and his sons and daughters.  I don’t want him to be afraid of law enforcement and I don’t want to deter him from pursuing it as a career.

I will not amend his taste in clothing; if he wants to wear a hoodie, he will wear one.  At two years old, he wears them now– not in rebellion to the stereotype but because I like them and so does he.  It’s cute and it’s easy.  And that’s all that should matter because it’s clothing and there’s nothing criminal about clothing.  He will not be judged on his clothing either.

I want to see what Rev. King saw.  I want to get to the mountaintop.  But, I will not get there looking back on history as justification for anger, bitterness and resentment.  I will not get there looking down on European Americans, suspecting every socially colored white person as a potential murderer, stereotyping every police officers as a bad one.

No, I will get to the mountaintop by allowing God to order my steps (Psalm 37.23).  I will walk away from prejudice and hatred.  I will run away from racism.   I will flee cultural clicks.  I will drop the baggage of history and only pack its blessings.  I will walk alongside anyone who wants to go with me and I will reach my hand out to those who don’t have the strength but the desire to go.

We will climb to the heights of reconciliation and we will enjoy the view of  the mountaintop, shared with all God’s children.

King’s last speech: “I’ve been to the mountaintop”

I am glad that I have a dream.  Persons have said one way or another keep on dreaming, dismissing the possibility of this promised land of citizens who are not judged based on the (social) color of their skin.  And I will.  I will keep on dreaming like so many others before me.

Perhaps, you are familiar with King’s last speech or maybe you’ve never heard it before.  But, there is a sense of closure, of self- satisfaction in that he realizes that he has seen it with his own eyes not in American society but in his spirit, he has soared to the mountaintop and that’s more than enough for him… and for me.

Long live the King!

kingToday, I remember the birth of a preacher.  I know that persons will hail him has a civil rights icon.  But, I, along with so many others, have not forgotten that he stood behind a pulpit and fought not for civil rights but declared the truths that must be practiced if the kingdom of God is to come to earth.  Reducing his words and ministry to legislation would be a travesty.  No, he came to give us sight, the vision of how God sees us– equally.

God created human beings, no one more or less than the other.  It is not God that needs convincing as God knew who He created and why.  King came to remind us that we are created equally and until we get it, there will be others.

King’s dream was actually God’s first.  He was repeating the prophets of old.  And this repetition reminded them of where they were headed and now reminds us of how far we have to go, still more chaos than community.  This dream of mutual respect and understanding, of unassigned seating at “the table of brotherhood” reminds me that we are not awake, not fully aware of who we really are.  It is my prayer that we might wake up from the nightmare of race and its progeny that we might live in Love and in so doing never die.

King’s dream was God’s first because it has outlived him and yet, he lives in the hearts and minds of those of us who strive to be reconciled to each other.  Long live the King!