Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Have a Dream!

Today marks the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in our nation's capital, on Aug 28, 1963.

This is a brief excerpt from his amazing speech:

"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 have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."

I don't know of anyone that can hear his voice, ringing with the toll of truth, and not feel a stirring in their hearts for those who are oppressed or experiencing injustice.  One of the victims of extreme oppression and injustice today is orphaned children.  They are among the most vulnerable because without a mom or dad, there is no one to stand up for them and protect them.  They grow up in extreme poverty, loneliness and despair and IF they survive starvation and disease, they oftentimes fall victim to those who prey upon the vulnerable.

I travelled to Ethiopia last year with Tom Davis, who is the President of Children's Hopechest and an author, and works tirelessly on behalf of orphans around the world.  Tom commented on Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech on his blog today.  He said,

"I dream of millions of Christians opening their hearts and homes to orphans here in the US and around the world who need families. Adoption, as John Piper termed it, is the "visible Gospel." I long for the day when a multi-racial families are the rule--not the exception.

I dream of freedom for girls trapped in slavery much worse than we could ever really imagine. A slavery where they are raped for profit day after day. Will we meet that challenge as King's generation met theirs?

The challenge of injustice did not end on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King new that justice was active--a verb--something you did with your life. If you are to "bring justice" to something, you must act against injustice".

For me, there is one specific part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech that deeply stirs my heart and gives me assurance that we are making progress in the war against injustice.

"I have a dream that one day ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."


carrie said...

This resonated with the depths of my heart, thank you for sharing! I have always loved MLK's "I have a dream" speech, but that brought it to life in a new way! I especially love the first picture of (I assume) father and son holding hands!
I am looking for ideas for a poster for our up-coming fundraiser garage sale that would both raise orphan awareness and share our heart for adoption. I would love to use some of this post if you would be ok with it. If you would like you can email me at or find me on facebook (Carrie Bower Lahman). Thanks again for inspiring my heart to press on through this seemingly endless paper chase!

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

What a beautiful post. I long for the day that we become a multi racial family.

We are awaiting approval into our agency's Ethiopia program.

Thank you for sharing.


Debb said...

GREAT POST, Karen! Your heart is so transparent and I love it! We share the same ideals and it warms my heart to see your family living out "The Dream!" I can't wait for our family to be doing the same! :o)