If you were exchanged in the cradle and
your real mother died
without ever telling the story
then no one knows your name,
and somewhere in the world
your father is lost and needs you
but you are far away...
They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
"Who are you really, wanderer?" -
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
"Maybe I'm a king."
- William Stafford, "A Story That Could Be True"
How would you live today if you were a king? Or a queen? Or prince or princess or knight or anything even remotely close to royalty? How would it change your posture, your speech, your decisions, your visage?
How would you live today if you were loved?
One of my favorite songs Judy Collins sings tells the story of how her father always promised them that they would live in France/they'd go boating on the Seine/and she would learn to dance/but they lived in Ohio then/he worked in the mines...
That song always makes me cry, for I too have dreams for my children I cannot make come true. At least not right now. I would love for my girls to study under the greatest dance instructor, for my son to be able to attend that top-drawer football camp in the summer, for them to all have their own room, for there to be frequent trips to the mountains to ski or board or just sit in a lodge by a fire while someone else brings them hot cocoa.
But if Judy Collins's father and I have regal dreams for our sons and daughters, how much more so does our Father who art in heaven have dreams for us, His children? And where Judy's dad and I work in our respective mines and are limited by such things as age, money, education, or the economy, what of the Father who is not limited by any of those things? What of the One who owns all the cattle on a whole lotta hills, Who spoke and worlds opened their eyes, Who created all that is and knows every time a sparrow falls or an angel gets his wings?
And if Judy's dad and I are working desperately to realize those dreams for our children, how much more so is our Father who is always near working to realize the dreams He has for us? Those dreams He has placed in our hearts and minds and souls and strength?
I'm sorry, but there's not a snowball's chance that I believe God's dreams for us are that we all arrive at some uniform place of existence where everyone is nice and never asks questions and hymns or choruses are playing all the time. God doesn't want anyone to go to hell.
His dreams for us are as varied as our faces. Some dream of boating on the Seine, or writing screenplays, or playing professional baseball, or going to cooking school, or teaching children to read, or standing in a river hoping a trout will rise, or publishing a book of poetry, or preaching sermons about God's dreams, or climbing Pikes Peak, or getting the GED, or paying the heating bill, or staying married, or having their own room, or having someone to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight, or that his children would be more than he is.
How would you live today if you believed God wanted your dreams to come true? If Judy's dad and I, being earthly fathers, desire good things for our children, how much more so does the heavenly Father desire and work toward and pursue the dreams He has woven into the very fabric of our lives?
If that were a story that was true, would you keep trying today? Would you give love another chance? Would you do one more rewrite? Would you dust off the "whatever" and refuse the let the thief steal the dream? Would you work a little harder or work a little less? Would you hold your head up? Would you smile?
Would you, no matter how cold and dark the world around you is, answer: "I'm a child of the King."?