When I was a little girl, I remember hearing the song “Windy” by The Association. Obviously, I assumed the song was about me, since my name was Wendy. I think one of song’s lyrics somehow got implanted in my brain and shaped my personality. It was the lyric “Windy has wings to fly, above the clouds, above the clouds.” In my childhood, I was called a “dreamer,” my teen years an “air head” but I prefer the adult version of a “visionary”. I believe the ability to dream is a gift from God that allows us to survive and thrive in this world but it is a gift that has been beaten out of many people.
In my book, From the Sanctuary to the Streets, I interview Martha Patrick, who was formerly a case manager with CARITAS. Martha shares with us that “A dream is a luxury our clients think they can’t afford. However, with a dream comes hope, hope in a future that is better than today’s reality. A dream is a powerful motivator.” Martha’s insights are shared by Ruby K. Payne who writes in her book Bridges Out of Poverty, “Individuals leave poverty for one of four reasons: a goal or vision of something they want to be or have; a situation that is so painful that anything would be better; someone who “sponsors” them (an educator, mentor, or role model who shows them a different way or convinces them that they can live differently); or a specific talent or ability that provides an opportunity for them.”
Over the past six years, I have asked the following question to both economically disadvantaged and wealthy individuals who are a part of our ministry: “If you could do anything for God and knew you would not fail, what would you do?” As I share in my book, it was this question that launched what ultimately became Embrace Richmond and it is this question that has inspired many who had forgotten how to dream, to begin to envision a world different than the one they see.
I believe if we want to change our own lives or the world around us, we have to rediscover the art of dreaming. In From the Sanctuary to the Streets, I have captured the dreams of both homeless individuals in our city and those with means. My hope is that in their dreams, you will discover the lost art of dreaming and add your dreams to theirs.
So, if you could do anything for God and knew you would not fail, what would you do? Please share your dreams with us because “with dreams comes hope” ̶ and we could all use a little more hope.
Still searching for your God-given dream? Consider ordering a copy of my book and allowing God to speak to you through the voices of the homeless in our city. Embrace has always attracted dreamers and I had the privilege of interviewing 20 such dreamers from all walks of life. I promise their stories will inspire you. If you read the book and are still uninspired, then come hang out in the city with us. I will give you a personal tour of the inner city and introduce you to some of my friends whom I guarantee will make you look at the world in a whole new way.
May all your God-given dreams come true!