Monday, January 16, 2017

     It’s a new day. A gift. How is it that some days we rejoice in the rising sun and eagerly embrace the day’s challenges and offerings, and other days, we want to hide under our pillows? I have no answer other than my own. I rarely face a day with less than 100% enthusiasm, but there have been some in my past when I was afraid to put a toe on the floor. This morning, as I look out at the blue sky, the sun shining on the pond and I feel the excitement of the day’s gifts fill my soul, I bow my head in prayer for those in my circle who are suffering or scared. I pray for a former colleague facing cancer surgery. I pray for a friend whose sister is in ICU. I pray for a friend undergoing cancer treatment, for my loved ones who have challenges of their own. Mostly, I pray for strength to share with all of them and for myself as we never know how our lives can change on a dime, and we will be the ones needing the prayers.

     Martin Luther King’s prayers seemed to be at least partially answered, but as I read the paper and listen to news reports, I wonder. Have we come a long way? Yes. Is it far enough? Of course not. Simmering under the surface of many are waves of racism which rise and threaten to drown all the good that has been done in the blood of so many. In recent months, those waves have spilled into many conversations and confrontations. Dialogues cloaked in prejudice and hatred disguised as party preference or loyalty threaten friendships and divide us. How can this be? The elephant in the room has reared up on his back legs and is roaring in households all over our country. 

      Watch the movie, Fences, and you will get a feel for the rage that can fester over years of frustration and rejection. Watch the movie, Hidden Figures, and you will recognize the quiet hysteria that has been bubbling for years. Is there really inclusion and diversity, or is it all for show? Politicians throw around terms that promise positive change, but are we really living it?

      I have a dream. In my dream, I see a world of kind citizens who respect one another. I see friends of different political leanings, faiths, color having cocktails at football games. I see children of all nations holding hands and singing. I see congregations saying thank you prayers. I see headlines touting kindness, forgiveness, compassion and collaboration. In my dream, I will no longer worry about revealing my political preferences with new friends for fear that they will reject me for my beliefs. I will no longer worry about bullies who want to push their ideas and beliefs on me, for they will respect me and my opinions. Dr. King would be there in my dream realizing his own. What’s your dream?