I wrote a poem about my dreams way back in the day. I had a dream about loving wife… dream fulfilled…. I had a dream about playing with my kids on a beach… dream fulfilled… and then I had a dream about changing the world for justice and peace… dreams still in progress.
I ended the poem with a line I stole from the writer Charles Swindoll. Indeed it was the title of the poem - I’m Going To Dress My Dreams In Denim.
Denim. I have a thing about wearing denim. I am a sixties child and, t might be a reaction against my mother who wouldn’t let me wear jeans going to school, but in my adult life I have worn as much denim as possible. When I was getting married people wondered what I would wear and I told them denim. They laughed. But I did. I got married wearing denim. It was respectable black denim and many didn’t even notice but it was denim.
Actually though, growing up in the early sixties in rural Northern Ireland the first person I ever saw wearing denim was my uncle, who was a carpenter. He wore dungarees in his workshop. When Uncle Bert arrived in his dungarees I knew he was at work. There was even a cool wee place up the leg for him to keep his measuring ruler which filed up in four. It was the coolest thing.
So back to my dreams. It is one thing having a dream. It is another thing to work it through. In my daily vocational work through my Church I am constantly coming up with dreams. Reconciliation in my divided country is a dream which is very relevant this morning. Helping bring well being to a very needy neighbourhood is a dream. Developing education in a remote part of Uganda is a dream.
Those are commendable dreams but they will only be pie in the sky unless we dress them in denim. Unless we put them to work they will never become a reality. As we celebrate Martin Luther King this week we find the example of a man who had a dream but then literally gave his life for it to be made reality. MLK dressed his dreams in denim.