I’m a dreamer. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It means I have an active imagination. I am not content with the way things are but can imagine how things could be better. This is important. Imagination is the way improvement begins. Yet my imagination also means I am good at imagining intricate strings of horrible happenings which keep me up at night. In other words my imagination makes me an expert worrier.
Also, being a dreamer means many of my wonderful ideas fizzle out or fail. I have dreamed of purchasing only things which are ethically produced and not harmful to the environment. I worked hard at this for a time only to discover issues are complex, information sometimes difficult to come by, and availability in my area not always great. Some ethically produced products just didn’t work for me. Like the eco-friendly shampoo which eventually made my hair such a mess it was painful to brush. I also discovered my farm-bred stinginess makes such ethical purchasing difficult. So, the dream was not the golden success for which I had hoped. Yet, not a complete failure either. I learned some things I could do differently and I still hold such issues in mind when I set out to purchase something.
I am a dreamer when it comes to the Christian church. Imagining how things could be better with church is what fuels my complaints against it. I can imagine ways in which we could be so much more than people who gather together each Sunday to affirm our beliefs, comfort one another, and think about God. I can imagine ways in which we could work together to be God’s love in the world. I can imagine the church going wherever there is need each week whether to individuals or social service agencies or standing with those in need of justice. I can imagine the church being so good at hearing the needs of others and working alongside others to meet those needs we would actually begin to fulfill “they will know we are Christians by our love.”
Yet I know it is not as easy as it sounds. I know this would mean change. It would mean getting people to participate. It would mean all sorts of practical issues would have to be considered. So, now I am trying to dream a little smaller. Perhaps some of us could simply find a couple other individuals and families with similar desire to serve, whether our theologies are similar or not. Together, each week, we could find a place to be God’s love: social service agencies, nursing homes, care for the environment, wherever we felt drawn to be. I can imagine the sense of purpose this could bring, the role modeling which would take place for my children, and hopefully we could help some people and learn a lot from people. For me, I think this would be church and my family would sometimes attend worship as well.
I hope this dream doesn’t fizzle out. Or maybe it will morph into something even better. Likely something even much smaller will happen and I will learn to be content with it. But this would still be progress. Therefore,I will continue to dream.
What are your dreams for church, for your spirituality, for leading a more ethical life?