As I have been unpacking, trying to find the place for the item in its new house. I have been unburying treasures. I have found items I thought were lost. I get stopped sometimes in the midst of this unpacking, stopped by the memory of the treasure I have found. One such treasure was unpacking a box of books that I hadn’t unpacked the last time I moved because I knew I wasn’t going to be there long. In this box I unpacked Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. These books bring up wonderful memories for me. I read these to Reed when were still reading together before bed. These books made him and I laugh or how we laughed. So its been ten years since I last read them so I decided to reread these books.
One of the lessons from the book is to believe in what seems impossible.
'I can't believe that!' said Alice.
'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'
Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said 'one can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Alice doesn’t want to believe what seems impossible. But she has entered a world where flowers sing, a potion makes you shrink, a cake makes you grow, where rabbits talk, and cats disappear. Alice visits this land of the impossible and still has trouble believing in the impossible things.
I was reminded of one of the stories told of a young man who visits Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him about following the commandments and the man says he has since he was little. Jesus looks upon this man with love and says the only thing left for you to do is to sell everything you have and give the money to the poor and then come and follow me. The man was shocked and left in sorrow. Jesus then speaks with his disciples about entering the kingdom of God. He shares how hard it can be and makes a joke about a camel going through a needle being easier than those with wealth entering the kingdom. Then the disciples ask who then can be saved. And Jesus looked at them, looked into them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Then Peter gets a little worried and says what about us; we left everything. And Jesus says is God’s upside down kingdom those who have left everything, followed and shared the good news, the kingdom will be there for them (Mark 10:17-31).
This week I have wondered about impossible things. The impossibility of racism ending, of guns being taken away before they kill people, of people have enough food, shelter, clothing, and education. I want to believe it is possible for us to make a difference and the kingdom of God being built with one small act of compassion and justice at a time. While we may not meet singing flowers or become the super hero we dreamed of becoming, we need to be reminded that it is ok to dream the impossible, to believe in the impossible, to work for 6 impossible things every day. We need to spend time dreaming the impossible and then doing the hard work of making our dreams and visions come true.