A Dream Bigger than Dr. King’s
I can’t read it without my heart picking up its pace, my ears pulsing with the swell of the applause I would have heard had I been standing there that day, amid the crowd of people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. I can’t read it without a pang as the harsh realization of the hostility Dr. King and other black Americans faced dawns on me.
No, I can’t read it without a bit of cynicism about some of the unsavory facts that have surfaced about that bombastic speech, that dynamic man.
But, mostly, I just can’t read it without realizing that, whatever Dr. King’s personal shortcomings may have been, he was used as an instrument of change.
I teach in a multi-ethnic classroom. I attend a multi-ethnic church where my dad is the pastor. I stand within a multi-ethnic network of friends, coworkers, and loved ones. And the fact of the matter is, on that day in 1963, that day before either of my parents were born, that day that Dr. King boldly proclaimed his dream…
That dream was, in many ways, the reality that I now live in.
And yet that dream is, in many ways, not fully realized. Discrimination is still real and present, not just out there, but, as a young black woman, in my life. It has reared its ugly head with a subtlety that belies the force of what Dr. King was dealing with. But its still there, needing to be addressed, needing to be rooted out. That was his dream. And it was a glorious dream.
And yet that dream is too small.
Eliminating the hostility between ethnicities is too small a dream.
My dream -God’s promises -are even bigger.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” ~Revelation 7:9-12
Can you imagine?
Can you even dream of that great multitude exalting God together, praising him for the undeserved gift of Christ Jesus?
The Gospel reaches across ethnic barriers, shattering them with the establishment of a new family united by the blood of Christ.
The Gospel unites us beyond our ethnic identities, re-entrenching our identities in the God-man born in Galilee.
The Gospel throws us on our faces before the One who painted our skin in this beautiful tapestry, moving us to praise him for his creative diversity.
This is my dream today.
This is God’s promise for the End of Days.
Dr. King’s dream was worthy of pursuit. That was a march worthy of walking. And I’m so grateful for those who did -inexpressibly grateful. Let’s pursue unity, let’s pursue equality, let’s pursue reconciliation. Now. Today. With zeal. With urgency. Articulately. Boldly.
And rooted in the dream the Lord has had since the dawn of time, to ransom a people of his own, a gloriously diverse melting pot of people to sing his name in every tongue.
I can’t read it without my heart picking up its pace, my ears pulsing with the swell of so many voices I will hear standing there that day, amid a numberless crowd of people in heaven. And the pang will not be necessary, because it will be finished, finally fully accomplished in Christ.