Plenty Big Enough to DreamOn January 30, 2019 by Amy Burgin
On January 5th, 2018, I received an email from a friend full of encouraging words including these four, “You are a dreamer.” She couldn’t have known I had entered a new season of dreaming and planning. And every time I did dream, a question came to mind with accusing tone, “Who do you think you are?”
A few days before the email, I read in a history book about a man who was described as “just a dreamer” because he never realized his dream. Although my friend didn’t use the word “just” in her email to me, I injected it into the sentence, which made me feel silly and small, like the portrayal of the man in the history book. I wrestled with this a few days and some time after I found victory (and long after I had forgotten the name of the history book), I wrote this little story.
One day, while I was daring to dream, a tall, slender man in a stylish suit stepped toward me with purposeful stride and a charming face. Without greeting, he asked, “Who do you think you are?” Seeing my response was not immediately forthcoming, he took a small notepad and pen from the inside of his coat pocket and began scratching words with his left hand while he spoke with tight lips, pausing to peer at me me between each sentence as though painting a portrait,
“For, you are just a dreamer.
You are just a peacemaker.
You are just a mother.
You are just a wife.”
“Wait,” I interjected awkwardly in an attempt to allow burning truth break forth from my bumbling body, “I am also a child of God.”
Cocking his head to the side he obliged, mumbled and scratched, “You are just a child of God.”
With an important air and exaggerated arm, he tore the paper from his pad and, with a swiftness that comes only from plentiful practice, origamied the paper into a perfect pill. “Take this,” he smiled kindly as he presented the offering like a gracious gift.
Seeing my hesitation, his other hand offered a tall, clear glass of water to wash it down cool with words, “to remember yourself rightly, lowly as you are.” He bowed shallow as he spoke and waited patiently in his paltry bend with the pill held out in his hand at the perfect height for my bite.
Oh, to remember my smallness – it’s truth I surely must eat, I thought as I took the tablet with a lowering head. Its bitterness burned on my tongue, down my throat and in my belly. I reached for the water only to discover the man no longer offered it and further, I had shrunk very small!
Minimizer, so tall, with hands on his hips leaned down close to laugh large. Rigging my dream on the end of a stick he dangled it high above me. I leapt, spun and lunged to seize it – impossible! He taunted until he saw I had given up and then, leaving my dream high on a shelf to tease me, he departed. I craned my neck to see my dream, high and large above me, until finally I decided, It’s probably best not to look up at it, for it strains the neck of someone so small.
Just a dreamer, just a peacemaker, just a mother, just a wife. Just a child of God. The bitter words swaggered in my mind, reducing my identity to miniscuality. Out of habit, I reached for my Light and Book, always tucked in the folds of my clothes, with me where ever I go, and I read.
Oh Minimizer! You have it almost-right. You’re just a little off. I pulled out my journal and pen. With my left hand I wrote,
I am a dreamer!
I am a peacemaker!
I am a mother!
I am a wife!
I am a child of Dreamer, Peace, Mother, Father!
I am a child of God, and not just in the titular sense, but in the total sense! A legitimate heir!
See? You have it almost-right, just one dastardly blunder.
Make “just” a noun. Use a comma, like this:
I am just, one who lives by faith.
Now it’s stated just right, and is it not just glorious?
Word washed down like water. With a lifted head, I grew to my rightful size, plenty big enough to treasure a dream that fit well in my hands.
Lord, keep me from the temptation of thinking less of myself than I am. Was it not part of the first big mistake? The Tempter said, “You will be like God.” But weren’t we already? Made in your image? What a grand being to be!
Romans 8:17 (NIV) “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Hebrews 10:38a (NKJV) “Now the just shall live by faith.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NKJV) “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in that day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God…”
Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Romans 12:3 (NKJV) “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
Thank you to Tina Gaskins for editing this post.