I was just paging through Facebook today and ran across this video of a 50 year old chimpanzee seeing the sky for the very first time. From birth to now he was always in a lab with walls and ceiling… not sure about a window. Not touching another chimp except through bars for all those years. And now at 50 he is retiring to Chimp Haven which has rescued over 100 government-owned chimpanzees from research laboratories and given them the retirement they deserve. Here’s to a second chance at life.
As you look at the video I have linked to this blog, please notice… even pause… at the point where this chimp looks up at the sky for the first time. Stop and look into his eyes and see the wonder. As I watched this story, particularly this one scene, I couldn’t help but wonder what is there out there that we have yet to see for the first time? And will it be as wonder-filled as the sky was for this chimp.
I am 68 years old. I have seen the ignorance and cruelty of segregation. I have witnessed the horrors of war in Vietnam, and the American people who sent you there spit on you when you came home. I have witnessed my father die with Alzheimers not knowing who I was. The senseless killing of people of all ages around the world because their religion was not acceptable to others. I have seen people steel the life savings of people… leaving them with absolutely nothing to live on. I have seen old men and women, homeless, hungry, freeze to death on cold winter nights just blocks away from churches with locked doors. Most of what I have seen in my lifetime has made me bow my head and wonder how in the world can this be happening in God’s world.
What would make me look up, make my chest swell with pride, put that warm feeling back in my heart? I think of a day when love and brotherhood of ALL people will be the rule of the earth, when all people will join hearts, hands, voices and minds to bring about a better world for all God’s people. The longer I live the more I long to look around and see for the very first time – perhaps like that chimpanzee – real brotherly love in action all around the world.
Do you remember these words? They become more important every day, every year. Perhaps one day they will become true.
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have a Dream Speech” on the Washington Mall. August 28, 1963.
I pray we can all share in that dream and help to make it a reality.
John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”