The Dreams of My Friends


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.”  

Sunday, I was driving to Hillsborough from an awesome Easter dinner with my in-laws, I got a chance to catch up with Tonetta, the person with whom I have had a lasting, abiding and deep friendship for decades (literally). She told me that we would not be able to talk for long because she has to get started on some school work (she teaches in Fairfax County). As we talked and exchanged the typical (for us) word jabs and banter the conversation turned. Tonetta started to share a dream that she had not shared before--not the dreams you have once you have entered REM sleep but the dreams that keep you from that sleep. I heard her dream and was excited beyond words.  This woman, whom I have known since she refused to allow me to "jump" her in line at lunch in elementary school was dreaming big!  I was honored to hear these dreams. I felt a little unworthy to hear something that was such a jewel and closely held dream. Tonetta had dreamed aloud and that made me want to dream. Tonetta dared to hope for something greater and that freed me to dream for something greater. Tonetta refused to be limited by the nay-sayers and that freed me to not be limited by the nay-sayers. Tonetta hopes for greatness and that frees me to hope for greatness!

Then another "bestie" (girlie expression but it works) dreamed...

Late last night into early this morning I got the opportunity--again--to experience what Ralph Emerson quipped first-hand. I sat and listened as my brother and close confidant shared his dreams. I listened as this guy, with whom I am honored to share life, dreamed aloud. It is incredible to hear the God dreams of a person. As I sat there listening, I was struck by the power that the dream of another can have on me. As I heard Jesse's dreams it sparked something within me that I had not realized had died: My ability to dream big hairy audacious dreams. 

Sure, I have set some pretty concrete goals for the future. Sure, I have plans to get there. But the dreams. The big, hairy and audacious dreams that I once dreamed were missing. The huge dreams. Those dreams that you know are impossible for you to accomplish alone. The dreams that you need first, and utmost God to be your chief partner for them to happen. For me, they were the dreams of a better place where people really did care about people. Not a utopia but the dreams where differences were celebrated and not berated. The dreams where your life counts and after you have left this fleeting and brief life, your dreams continued to touch the world.  The dreams of my brother has helped me to remember that God has called me--and you--to dream big, crazy and seemingly insurmountable dreams!

Jesse and Tonetta thank you for dreaming those Big, hairy, audacious dreams! They may say that you are a dreamer, but you are not the only one.

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