Verna J. Dozier was a leading African American theologian and prophet who touched countless lives and transformed hearts. Her work and service were prolific. As a teacher and Board Member of Examining Chaplains, she often spoke and wrote about the dream of God. She believed that we have the capacity to bring forth the realization of Howard Thurman’s vision of ‘a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky’. She believed that God wants all creation to live together in peace, harmony, and fulfillment. She believed that we are called to restore that dream together. I believe she was right. In truth, how could it be otherwise?
The wounds and struggles of the past have the power to separate and destroy us. But they also have the power to move us forward to new life, a new identity, and universal oneness. Our suffering is what we all have in common. It’s not single-mindedness and strength that will overcome, but acceptance and shared vulnerability. The Dream of God is attainable if we are willing to let go of our chokehold on yesterday by engaging in healing here and now. We can start by loving where we once hated.
I think this is about the best starting point for building up the Dream of God; A boy named Camden asked New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady at a press Q&A in Atlanta what we should do about haters. “What do we do about the haters? We love ‘em,” said Brady. “We love them back because we don’t hate back.” There it is…a glimmer of a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.