I can see the dream. This morning I dropped my children off at their local elementary school in Montgomery, Alabama. I watched as they hurriedly entered the school building alongside their peers. I saw their backpacks and lunch boxes disappear through the front doors for another day of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I can see them with their fair skin enter the halls of learning next to children whose skin are black, brown, yellow, and every other hue of our city’s diverse population. It meant nothing to them; for they know not of segregation or integration—only friendship. In them, I was observing the progress that has been made in this city that became the epicenter of a movement that shook the nation. I was witnessing a new generation bringing healing and wholeness to our community. My children just walked into school with their friends.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. After half a century, in many ways it is still just a dream. I do not pretend today that America has solved her issues of race; the echoes of national outcry on all sides of the Trayvon Martin case can still be heard right alongside the replays of the Dream speech. Here in Montgomery, the scars of past racism and injustice are still all too visible.
Nevertheless, I pause and give thanks to God for the progress that my children enjoy today. I give thanks for people who stood up, here in Montgomery and elsewhere, against oppression and injustice. I give thanks for people who still want to make a difference and refuse to sit on the sidelines and accept the status quo. I give thanks to those who still fight in the trenches for those whom cannot fight for themselves. I give thanks for those who blaze the trail of freedom lighting up the darkness with the light of Christ. I give thanks to God for Martin Luther King Jr., for his courage to be a voice for the voiceless.
It was that voice which said, “I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
My children walked into that dream today, and into the even larger dream God begun two millennia ago in Jesus Christ: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
I can see the dream!