Monday, August 15, 2005

Here Comes That Dreamer ...

(Some thoughts from a cybercafe in Buea...)

"Here comes that dreamer..."

That's the phrase used around the world to dismiss people who truly believe in justice and peace, who actually have a sense of what could be, of the possible.

It was the line that Joseph's brothers used when they saw him, the favored son, approaching from a great distance (Gen. 37:19). These words began a conversation that resulted in a series of acts of violence against Joseph.

Granted, Joseph played the role of bratty kid brother; someone should have told him that he didn't have to share every single detail of every dream ... but he may have simply been an innocent, naive child who couldn't help sharing every thought that popped into his head. No matter how annoying he may have been, it certainly doesn't excuse his brothers' callous disregard for his life.

They were tired of hearing dreams, fairy tales, visions of the bye and bye. Besides, Joseph's dreams threatened his brothers' places of power and prestige. "So you think you are going to be a king and rule over us?" they complained. Even his doting father told him to back off.

I wonder how Joseph felt at the bottom of the well ... and then again in an Egyptian prison ... Did he continue to hold fast to his dreams? Did he think that he was a failed dreamer, too? Did he despair that it was all over?

No, he actually kept on dreaming. And so must we.

We can't let the greedy brothers of goat's blood dash our hopes. We can't let the unfortunate turn of events in our world stop us from walking forward. And we can't let the keepers of the status quo, those pessimistic "realists," talk us out of our faith in God's emerging kingdom.

It's not a vain dream that, one day, our governments will respect human dignity, will value transparency and accountability, will actually wage peace instead of war. It is not a vain dream that women and girls can be raised up to full dignity and worth against male violence and dominance. It is not a vain dream that actual wars can cease, that nuclear weapons can be dismantled. It is possible.

Because God makes impossible things happen. That is the basis of all dreams, of all hope, of faith.

So don't let anyone dismiss the possibilities. And don't let anyone dismiss you simply as "that dreamer." Wear the title proudly, as a badge of honor. Wear it like a coat of many colors!