Most of us remember the now famous speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he declared, “I have a dream!” His dream for his children, and let us say all children, was that they would live in a world where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. It’s a dream because we so often lose sight of what it means to love one another as God asks us to do. It’s a dream because we’ve forgotten how to love our neighbors, all of our neighbors, as ourselves. It’s a dream because we no longer look to our leaders to be people of character. 

I wonder what happened to our desire to be kind and loving human beings. What happened to our sense that character, individual character, corporate character, standards of goodness matter? One of those key character traits is honesty. Honesty is marked by truth-telling and promise keeping. I have a dream that we would be honest in our dealings with one another. The Old Testament declares that God hates dishonest scales, those that tip the scale in favor of cheating someone else. 

Compassion awakens our sense of kindness and generosity. It is a heart thing, a love thing, and one that seeks the good of others whatever the circumstances may be. I dream of compassion driving the actions of every thinking human being. 

Of course, there are many character traits, but perhaps another one that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might also dream of is courage. I dream that more of us would have the courage of our beliefs, the desire to tell the stories that God gave us to tell, and the willingness to surrender our own challenges to meet the needs of those around us. 

As we take note of the amazing leadership of this one man who stood up courageously for what he believed in, showed compassion for people everywhere, and served as an example of incredible character, I pray that we might dream along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because with the help of God, our dreams may yet come true!