I have always been a lover of words. New words. Old words. Colorful words. Words that pop and sizzle. Words that calm and comfort. Words that uplift and inspire. Words that sparkle and glisten. Onomatopoeia to metaphor to figures of speech. Words have power. Words matter.
Words can change the world. Fifty years ago, the world shifted. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Washington Monument and spoke these words:
“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!”
I am thankful for his words this week. Lately, it seems like we are being bombarded by words—spoken, written, tweeted. They are words that are changing the world as we know it. Scary words. Violent words. Demeaning words. Incendiary words. And it is difficult to imagine that I have any power to change the tide that seems to be rolling over the top of us. But I have to believe, as did Dr. King, that what we say, what we do, who we walk with, will make all the difference.
Listen to your words today. Listen to the words of other. Create a conversation. Speak words of power to those in power. Live into the dream that Dr. King spoke of, and the one to which God is leading us. I have a dream, too. And we will walk there together.
Blessings, Pastor Nancy