You May Say I’m a Dreamer

Live Stream to Unity in the Foothills, 20 January 2019

In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr delivered his infamous ‘I Have a Dream speech’ in front of 250,000 marchers on the mall of the nation’s capital. His most quoted paragraph rang through the streets, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.” He went on to say, “1963 is not an end, but a beginning.”

SONG (Bob Sima): It’s Time, from It’s Time

Do you feel that? It’s time! Did you catch the line in the song… “For a world that cries for what is behind your eyes.” 

Behind your eyes: That is the dream held in your consciousness and the world is crying for you to create it. What does your dream look like? Have you ever stopped to watch that dream and allow it to live out with no guidance and with no regard for the limitations that we place on our own creative powers? Do you ever give yourself permission to create, in consciousness, that which exceeds even your own imagination of that which is behind your eyes? Because that is what the world is crying for.

Martin Luther King Jr shared his dream:

  • in the midst of what was happening within and around him and the United States, 
  • at a time when it must have appeared foolishly, outlandishly, and humanly impossible to conceive peace between races, and
  • for the comfort of a crying world, while he waited for enough humans to be moved into action to shift the unacceptable.

I believe King knew that putting his dream into words gave it merit, birthed it into some form of reality, and invited others to join in the same concept, however that looked for them. Sending his voice as vibrations into the world allowed both the seen and unseen powers beyond himself to hear this dedicated and unapologetic black man screaming for humanity to wake up. And humanity listened.

Changes were made. Actions were taken. Humanity stepped in, stepped up, and stepped out. The collective conscious shifted. We woke up. I believe it is our responsibility to challenge the collective conscious and wake up even more. The inequalities felt through the underbelly of humanity still need a voice. They need our collective voice.

King may have been the voice echoing across the lawns of Washington DC, but we must remember that never diminishes the countless others supporting his idea, creating a movement that demanded major changes, and ensuring the vision rippled through the airwaves and into living rooms and into hearts and minds of those ready and willing to support.

My question to you: Do you share your dream? Do you sit back and listen as the world cries out to you, “Step in; step up; and step out.” There is a difference between having a dream, holding a dream, sharing a dream, and living a dream. We are living a piece of King’s dream, but I believe there is more to awaken.

Last year we were introduced to a British storyteller, author, and mythologist named Dr Martin Shaw. In an interview, he gets choked up uttering these words, “The hour is very late for us now, as a culture. It is very late. And we have to wake up. It is not just about victory. It is about our capacity to make homemaking skills again in ourselves for something that is bigger than us. That we learn to bend our head again. That we learn some humility. We were caught in an old love affair with the tumbling earth. If our time is drawing to a close, should we not make beauty with it? Should we not? What possible message should we be giving our kids other than that?”

Enter a state of meditation and ask yourself: If my time is drawing to a close, should I not make beauty with it? What possible message should I be giving our kids other than that? What is my message to share? What truth can I stand in, knowing I am contributing to the evolution of humanity? What am I modeling in my home, in my office, in my community? Fill your heart with the full spectrum dream that is behind your eyes. Allow yourself to step in with it, hold yourself accountable for stepping up with it, join others and step out into the world with it. How are you going to give it away? If our time is drawing to a close, should we not make beauty with it?

SONG (Bob Sima): The Measure, (demo version) currently unreleased

Martin Luther King Jr gave it all away. His life was threatened every day. He did not stop. His dream was so much more important to him than life itself. His dream took over his heart and when he spoke you could feel his passion overflowing. He was fiercely living to make sure that humanity would some day live the life that he dreamed. “When your hands are empty and your heart is full, and you can smile on your very last day, there is nothing you need to measure and nothing you need to say and nothing to take with you but what you have given away.” King gave it all away, so much so that we continue to study him and quote him and allow his words to fill our hearts and inspire us time and time again. King sang the song he came to sing, to quote Bob’s lyrics.

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream. What is your dream? I would be willing to bet that many components of your dream look very familiar to the dreams of others. You are not the only one. It is great when we “find our tribe” and recognize communities where we “fit in”. Are we actually doing something with that feeling of collective thought? Are we dreaming together? Are we stepping out together? Are we singing our song together? Are we speaking our truth together?

Going back to the first song that Bob sang, the last verse begins: “There is a celebration in the streets. Brothers and sisters, they finally meet. All of these orphans under the same sun, same sky.” We are all orphans. We have all come into this form, away from the source that birthed all of us into existence and holds us together with the stardust helix. We are all orphans. Yet somehow we have found each other in the billions of people on this planet. We have found small pockets of collective thought. It is time to connect the pods and bring into being the next iteration of a unified dream for humanity.

Sister Miriam Therese Winter adapted the song “America the Beautiful” in 1993. You will recognize the phrasing and some of the lyrics, but her vision to support a more nationalistic view with updated language and references touched me deeply when I heard it.

———How beautiful, our spacious skies, our amber waves of grain;

Our purple mountains as they rise above the fruited plain.

America! America! God’s gracious gifts abound

And more and more we’re grateful for life’s bounty all around.

Indigenous and immigrant, our daughters and our sons,

O may we never rest content till all are truly one.

America! America! God grant that we may be

A sisterhood and brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

How beautiful, sincere lament, the wisdom born of tears;

The courage called for to repent the bloodshed through the years.

America! America! God grant that we may be

A nation blessed with none oppressed, true land of liberty.

How beautiful, two continents, and islands in the sea

That dream of peace, nonviolence, all people living free.

America! America! God grant that we may be

A hemisphere where people here all live in harmony.———

Sister Miriam Therese Winter is a Roman Catholic Medical Mission Sister; theologian; writer; songwriter; Hartford Seminary Professor of Liturgy, Worship, Spirituality, and Feminist Studies; and is the Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute. This song is #594 in United Church of Christ ‘s New Century Hymnal.

SONG (Bob Sima): If Your Hand Was in Mine, from The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers