Dreaming of Hope

Sometimes words are said that are
so right,
so true,
so beautiful,
so affirming,
so liberating,
so healing,
so hopeful,
that you can scarcely believe they were said.

Sometimes it is just your name,
spoken with deep love and recognition.

Sometimes it is a word that makes
life whole again.

Sometimes it is a word of such grace
that it makes all things new.

Sometimes it is a word that whispers “forgiven”
and the burden is lifted.

And it is like your deepest longings
have been fulfilled.

Your most profound hope
is realized.

And you pinch yourself, to see if this is really real.
You wonder if you have been dreaming.

Something like this happened to Jeremiah.

He heard a word of blessing
where there had only been curse.

He heard a word of hope
where there had only been despair.

He heard a word of planting
where there had only been uprooting.

He heard a word of homecoming
in the depths of exile.

He heard …

I will satisfy the weary,
and all who are faint I will
replenish. (Jer. 31.25)

And then he wrote …

Thereupon I awoke and looked,
and my sleep was pleasant to me. (Jer. 31.26)

It was all a dream,
but what a wonderful dream it was.

What a pleasant sleep he enjoyed.

Sometimes you need that kind of a good night’s rest
to have the energy to face another day.

Sometimes you need to have your subconscious
invaded with a hope that is difficult to achieve during waking hours.

Sometimes you need a dream of delight
to replenish your hope.

Sometimes you need to dream of newness
to engender an alternative vision of life.

And such dreams, my friends,
are woven from grace.

They are gift, pure gift.

May we be a community of such dreams.

Brian Walsh
Brian is an activist theologian and the CRC Campus Minister at the University of Toronto. He engages issues of theology and culture, and has written a couple of books you might want to check out. His most recent offering is entitled Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination.

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