What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore — And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
~ Langston Hughes, African American Jazz Poet
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12
If you had dropped in on the block party a few weeks ago at the Paddocks, you might have taken for granted the months of relationship-building that Glen and Morgan Paddock have been doing 24-7 since moving into the House of Dreams a little over a year ago.
It wasn’t long after we finished picking up broken beer bottles embedded in the Paddocks’ yard from residents past, that kids of all ages came thronging to the picnic tables and the newly laid basketball court. The Paddocks know each and every one of these kids by name and are greeted by their hugs and smiles.
Community and hugs don’t come overnight, though. The Paddocks know this. They know that mentoring kids and helping them fulfill their dreams – God’s dreams for them – isn’t a fly-by-night operation. It’s an intentional day-in-day-out goal of sharing Christ’s hope, being available to listen, helping their neighbors and meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of their community. Its seed sowing and watering those seeds every day. It’s doing life together with these kids and literally meeting them where they are, that will make a real difference.
As some volunteers worked at the craft table, helping make butterflies, I thought about what God desires for these kids. It’s what He wants for all of us – transformation; a new legacy. These kids are butterflies in the making.
None of this happens by accident. As followers of Jesus, each of us has an incredible calling. He said whoever serves the least of these, serves Him.
We have a choice. We can stand in the gap for these kids with the Paddocks and with God before us and beside us, or we can say it’s too much or it’s not for us. We can pretend these kids are not our neighbors; that they are someone else’s responsibility. We can let dreams fester. … Or, instead, we can help fulfill God’s dream for these kids and lead them to the tree of life that will transform their lives and their legacy. What will you choose?
Interested in being part of the Dream Campaign?