Unless I Dream

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For me?! Why would he leave it for me?

 

Because unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Last night I watched the Lorax on Netflix and it got to me. Even though I have always been an avid Dr. Suess fan, I don’t remember a time that I ever turned the pages of that book. And I really wish I had.

The scene above is where the Once-ler confesses his story to teenage Ted about how he wiped trees off the face of the earth in his lust for power. The Lorax, (the Once-ler’s friend and liaison to the forest), is heartbroken by the desolation his friend has brought upon the world he loved so much. Before he walks away forever, he etches an eternal word into a stone.

“Unless.”

After several decades It dawns on the Once-ler that the stone was actually left for Ted,

Reaching frantically into his pockets he finds the last hope and tosses it over to him.

The last seed?

 

It’s not about what it is. It’s about what it can become.

Decades ago, long before almost all of our time, one humble and passionate preacher redefined a generation. He led a nation out of a world where everything from job opportunities to the bathroom stalls told us who was human and who was not. He gave us the moral courage to expose our children to others who looked and sounded strange. He gave a little old lady the gall to sit in the front seat of a bus.

Through his proud march down the national mall and those elegant and edifying words, he rebuked the lie that to be different is to be dangerous.

To be different is to be human.
And for so long, him and the rest of the non-white class existed under a system that said they were secondary, less than. It told their children that they weren’t worth good textbooks and the air conditioned schools. It drew lines at every event so the white and the colored wouldn’t have to rub elbows.

 

It was an ugly world that didn’t make sense in light of the Kingdom.

King in his early teenage years was often skeptical of the stories he read, especially since there were certain places where he couldn’t read them. Blacks couldn’t go the white folk church. Thank God King kept the faith.

 

I hasten my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters to stay away from likening the civil rights movement to the gay rights one. We just haven’t had to shed the same level of blood or endure such a dehumanizing system.

And I know that today is the day we celebrate and remember, but its also day for awareness. It is a day that we all take a good look outside our front porch and ask ourselves,

 

“are we living in the world as it ought to be?”

 

If not. Then keep on dreaming

because if we don’t,

nothing is going to get better. it’s not.

 

Unless I dream, youth ministries will be always breeding grounds for bullies, where no gay kid can ever feel safe.

Unless I dream, that baby with no big hands to tuck him in and no large lips to kiss him goodnight, will remain in the overcrowded orphanage… because it was two women who wanted to take him home.

Unless I dream, someone’s sexual orientation will still be just cause for terminating their employment.

Unless I dream, gay teens will still be six times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts.

Unless I dream, kids will fail one-too-many suicide attempts before they come out to mom and dad.

Unless I dream, ex gay therapy will still be called “therapy” and fathers will continue to suffer from spiritual abuse.

Unless I dream, Christian colleges will still say gay kids can’t be class President and will enshrine in their “covenants” how they really feel about it.

Unless I dream, my gay blood will still be counted unworthy, even if it means saving the life of my mother.

Unless I dream, “fag” and “homo” and “dyke” will remain regular jargon for playground conversation.

Unless I dream, culture will never ever understand.

Unless I dream, the church and the LGBT community will never fall in love.

Unless I dream, the church will land on its sword of intolerance and a generation will lose out on the gospel.

Unless I dream, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

With a word etched into stone, Dr Suess reminded us of a truth that has survived over the ages. It has been passed on from one generation to the next, like an old hymnal with love and equality and dignity written into the chorus. It sings to us “You are an unbelievable and beautiful masterpiece, polished by the same hands that make angels. I am going to keep you and I am going to kiss you and I am going to hold you when it gets hard, because I love you so much, just the way that you are.”

Unless you stand up for the other. Unless you start seeing injustice and inequality and heartache as a threat to you and your own.. Unless you start seeing conformity as dangerous and different as human. Unless you start seeing the world as it ought to be.

None of us will have had a chance.

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

RR

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3 thoughts on “Unless I Dream

      • “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. ”

        Historic and moving words – to be sure!

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