God has put a dream in our hearts. It is a dream of a world where hatred, prejudice, conflict, and violence will have cease. A world where the “enough for all” is actually shared among all. A place where sickness and suffering are no more. We are called to imagine that world – a world without evil and governed by love and justice, mercy and freedom.
This dream, put in our hearts by God, is a witness to this conviction: that the imagination for the good is more than we think, and “reality” as we now see it, less.
I recall the story of LaVerne Trent Long. She died over ten years ago at the age of fifty-eight. She was an ordinary countrywoman who filled her life with very extraordinary deeds. In her mid-twenties, when her heart was moved by the saddened young black boys who were rejected by the local all-white baseball team, she took on God’s dream for the world. She declared herself their coach, begged and borrowed equipment, fetched kids who had no transportation to come to practice, ignored those who told her it could not be done, and turned those boys into a winning team – even defeating those who had rejected them. I like to think of her as a female John the Baptist, proclaiming a world on the horizon that is truly God’s world — and then helping make that world actually happen.
As we discover John the Baptist out in the wilderness this week, hold onto that dream. Watch and hear John the Baptist telling us how to live because the One who is to come will be the life that will begin the transformation of the world. Believe, and then act on it.
The Reverend Susan N. Eaves