Spirit Alive: Did You Ever Have a Dream?

Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.
February 14, 2018

With Heart, Soul, and Mind:

It Takes an Open Heart to Recognize and Honor the Dreams of Others

"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 ."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today is Valentine's Day. It is a wonderful time of the year to open our hearts to one another and embrace and support the dreams of those around us. In that spirit, I'd like to introduce you to an amazing friend of mine. She is a young woman, who is also a remarkable dreamer. Her name is Yuni.
Yuni is a United Methodist. She is also a college student, a rising, young leader in our church, and is classified as a Dreamer under DACA. Yuni's story is one that you need to hear.  I think you will be moved by what you see...and when you are done watching, you will better understand what it means to be a Dreamer in our country today. Please take a moment to open your heart and hear Yuni's powerful story.
Click here to hear Yuni's story .
 As you can see from Yuni's story, it is important to remember that public policy debates always have a human face...and affect the lives and futures of real people. The current debate taking place in Washington, DC regarding DACA and the Dreamers is an example of this. All sorts of things have been said in recent weeks by politicians and others about national security, the building of a wall along the border...and derogatory comments have even been made about the very character of those who are immigrants to our country. But before we start taking sides or making political pronouncements, it is important to step back long enough to listen to the real life stories of others. 
 The Dreamers stories that I've heard and seen...ones like Yuni's...are so very American. They reflect the experiences of young people who have dreams for their lives, want to contribute to this country they call home...and in the process make a difference in the world. Many of these Dreamers want to become nurses, teachers, lawyers, first responders, and engineers among other things. But this can only happen if our hearts are open and we, as a nation, realize that they are already home. In fact, for many of them, this is the only place they know, having come here as young children.
So as this political debate rages on in Washington, DC, let us remember the words of  Dr. Martin Luther King, who was himself a great dreamer: "In a real sense all life is inter-related. (All of us) are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be...This is the inter-related structure of reality."
Dr. King knew how to dream, and he dreamed big! He dreamed that we might one day truly love each other, honor each other, and treat one another with compassion, justice, love, and respect. He believed that dreams could defeat prejudice, hatred, and violence. Now that's a big dream...one worthy of a leader like Dr. King...those of us who are followers of the Way of Jesus... and of a loving God.
Dreaming is a big deal, especially for people of faith. In fact, our future depends on dreams!
 So as we struggle with the public policy debates of today, let us not forget the Dreamers, who reside among us as people seeking a future for themselves and their children in this place we all call home. And let us remember students, like Yuni, who have so much to teach us about the world we live in and the amazing possibilities that come from dreaming. May the Dreamers lead us into new ways of being with one another in "beloved community."
Let us walk in the light of God's love,
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.

Lowell Greathouse
Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org