On January 16, 2017 Poet Erin Wiley shared a powerful poem she wrote in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This poem was performed at the Central Union Mission during the WGTS 91.9 Take Over Day.
“Have You Ever?”
By Erin Wiley
(in honor of Martin Luther King Day)
Have you ever loved with your whole heart?
Now, before you respond with a confident “yes”, let me remind you of a few things.
You see, the heart is not those two little curved lines, joined together on paper and colored in with a pretty shade of red.
Nor is it imprinted on our favorite t-shirt, or filled in with the initials of a sweetheart or crush.
No. The heart is a complex and powerful organ, totally fixated on the survival and salvation of the body it belongs to.
“Here I am…use me!” it says. And it finds itself fully immersed inside a human vessel, its only drive to draw from its surroundings and to use whatever it encounters to fuel, to feed, to enliven this body that it was created to sustain.
The principal work of this heart is to speak life to the body, and so this heart…it toils and it labors, its love heals and it soothes, and the heart bleeds…and eventually dies, still in relentless pursuit of the highest good for its beloved body.
This heart knows only love, from its beginning until its very last earthly beat.
Can you imagine a love like that?
Have you ever had a dream that wasn’t about you?
With vivid pictures of a beautiful scene that warmed your heart and soothed your soul.
It emboldened your spirit, this dream.
Its colorful vision like a beacon of hope, guiding you forward in your every waking moment.
Full of promises seen and unseen, it calls to you and you boldly answer, “Here I am…use me!”
And as you let your cry of obedience ring, you suddenly realize that the images in the dream don’t actually center around you.
It isn’t your own prosperity and good fortune shining through…it’s theirs.
That joyful lift isn’t for the promise of blessings and favor in your own life…but in theirs.
You, the prophetic instrument, gifted with a glorious vision that was not for your own waking eyes to behold.
And yet your passion burns ever brighter to make that dream a reality for another, be they stranger or friend.
Could you believe in a dream like that?
I know a man who loved like that.
With a tireless heart, fully and unselfishly devoted to us, His body.
A love so all-encompassing that there isn’t a speck of creation it doesn’t embrace.
A love not afraid to sacrifice for the sake of another’s needs.
A love so completely consumed with goodness that it spreads like wildfire with a simple touch, an unguarded glance, a caring word.
And I know of a man who was inspired to dream like that, solely to the benefit of others.
A dream so full of wonder and beauty, and a hope that it would one day be fiercely protected and safeguarded by all.
A dream nearly shattered by the harshness of this world, but constantly reformed and re-energized by the saving power of grace.
A dream that, when shared freely, reaches every hardened or open heart, passing from one to another without exception.
I know that such love and dreams exist.
And where they don’t yet exist…they’re just waiting to be made.
Made by you…and by me.
So, although I may not have ever loved like that,
And you may not have ever dreamed like that,
Today seems like the perfect day to start.
To learn to love.
To learn to dream.
And to learn that we have the power to say,
“Here I am…use me.”