Ken’s e-Pistle

August 30, 2023

As I write this, we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.  I remember watching it on a black and white TV at the home of my grandparents. It is funny how we remember things which we think at the time will be significant to history.  Parts of this memory includes the smell of supper being cooked.  Fried chicken, green beans, rice with gravy biscuits from scratch, and sauteed mushrooms.  The smell of cigarettes was also present as always. Everybody smoked back then, even the physicians.  Some folk said it was actually good for you!  A brand-new Ford Galaxy 500 sat in the driveway and up on Peachtree Street, electric trolleys, powered by overhead power lines, sparked and hissed throughout town.

Somehow, I knew, even in my child’s mind, that things were changing. The camera panned over the crowd, some 250,000 strong.  I didn’t know that there were that many people in the world!  The “grown-ups” weren’t paying that much attention to the broadcast.  Later discussions would reveal their belief that change would never happen and that their position of privilege as Caucasian Americans was, in some ways, ordained by God.

Of course, change did come.  Albeit slowly, painfully, bloody, bruised and often slowed but never stopped. Dr. King was felled by a murderous bullet but not before he could cast the spell of the dream from his spirit to those of countless others.  In time, the dream grew and began the shape-shifting to reality. Sixty years later the dream is still in process, still being born, still occupying a spot in the future as well as the present moment.

In the faith we have a doctrine called Sanctification.  It is the process in which God fits us more and more for our tasks as Children of the Kingdom. It is a course which begins before birth and continues beyond death.  We will not reach perfection in this life but, rather, in the life to come. Perhaps the final realization of the Dream will be a bit like that; always in process and never fully developed until some point in the ineffable future.

That, of course, does not absolve us from advancing the vision of the dream. The vision needs vocal advocates and even silent supporters to stay alive.  It needs visionaries who can see beyond the horizon of the present day to move it forward.

There is an old saying which I love: “Don’t push the river; it flows by itself.”  Still, if you want to get to the other side, you’re going to need to get wet and swim!

I bid you peace!