When I think of people who have really changed the world, they all seem to have something in common. They all share an amazing ability to not only see the world as it is, but also as it could be. Think about Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, William Wilberforce, Gandhi, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. I could go on and on. None of these people lived in denial of their current circumstances or the realities of the injustices they were confronting. They saw the world as it was. But they saw something else as well.
I have a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. on my desk. There is a throng of people around him all trying to get his attention. But he is looking beyond them, staring off into the distance. There is a look in his eyes that grips me. It’s as if something else has caught his attention. I think he was seeing another world. A world that he called a dream. The world as it was meant to be. A world without injustice.
We live in a world where children, the most innocent and vulnerable among us, suffer from horrendous injustices. I see a different world for children. A world where children are not sold as commodities. A world where children are safe. Where they are free. Where they can play and not be afraid. A world where they can just be children.
Can you see it?
For several years, my oldest daughter and I celebrated her birthdays by going to see a Broadway show together. One of our favorite shows is Les Miserables. At the end of the play, the cast begins to march toward the audience singing an invitation to join them in their fight. When I first heard it, I about jumped out of my seat to join them on stage. There is something about an invitation to not only see another world, but to do something about bringing it as well. That kind of invitation resonates inside of the deepest part of me. I’d like to extend to you, the same invitation:
"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart, echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!"
Will you join us? I want to be in this with you.