There is no doubt that this year’s Call to Action conference lifted my spirit and strengthened my soul. I know it has a way of doing that for others, too. After all, our witness to justice in all its forms is palpable and alive, resilient and prophetic.
As I reflect back nearly a week after the conference’s end, I’ve pieced together a common theme, a thread of awarenesses that has risen in me since leaving Milwaukee. Without knowing it then, this year’s conference was an invitation to dream – again!
This was born and came alive in a session about Joseph the Dreamer – a man marginalized and misunderstood by many during his time. Yet, Fr. Marek Bozek eloquently spoke of Joseph’s, and all dreamers’, unique sensitivity to the surrounding world, their gift and charism of visioning, creativity, and innovation.
Who are the modern day Josephs? What are their dreams?
I imagine many of us in Call to Action circles find ourselves on thresholds of tradition and progress, and although not mutually exclusive, call us out of old frameworks, paradigms, and models of hierarchical church. It does take dreamers like Joseph to fashion a different way forward – a just way forward for all. Unless we are courageous enough to embrace dreaming and its implications we may never fully awaken and realize the active spirit within us.
Will you dare to dream – again – with me?
Fr. Bozek concluded his session by saying, “The dream makes you significant, not the difference.” Since hearing him, I’ve tried to re-imagine, re-envision, and re-focus my dreams.
Like Joseph, what dreams of ours has God invited us to cultivate and nurture – even amidst, and perhaps especially because of, criticism and ridicule, oppression and suppression, challenge and controversy?
As the conference unfolded, bits and pieces of my dream were illuminated. The beautiful tapestry of people, culture, traditions, languages, beliefs and so much more enlarged and enriched my dream. My hunch is that if we all dialogued about our dreams – like so many before us – we would find intersection and convergence, interrelatedness and connection, interdependence and purpose.
My hope for you is that seeds of big dreams continue to flow forth and bloom. There is no ‘winter season’ in dreaming; only fertilize soil in which to stake new claims and dream new possibilities.