Once upon a time, Ray Kinsella, and his family, lived and farmed in Iowa. Ray was having some financial problems and was in danger of losing the farm. But; he had a dream. In this dream, Shoeless Joe Jackson appears and states: “If you build it, he will come.” Ray seeks out a famous sports writer to determine the meaning of his dream and along the way, meets an older Family Doctor who once dreamed of playing on this same team. The story develops they all experience the White Sox team playing in the field – and miracles happen. LIFE HAPPENS:
The movie; starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Amy Hoffmann and many others contains stories within stories; all buried in memories and dreams. I see many unfulfilled dreams, but with a sense that it is possible for those dreams to come alive: “If you build it, he will come.” The conclusion of the story shows Ray and his deceased father, John Kinsella, the catcher on the team, meeting each other and sharing some moments of intimacy that were painfully missing. Wonderful moments of healing and life giving resulted from trust in the ongoing struggle, the active pursuit of the dream.
Human life is this way. We tend to life our lives in the moment. We bury past wounds or let them fester and grow like a cancer. We fail so often to see that we are all very human, filled with hopes, dreams and fears. We fail so often to see that all of life is connected; that all humanity is connected at the roots. We are connected genetically and culturally, united in our past and moving forward into the future with trust. We are all part of something much bigger than ourselves and our self created kingdoms. The problem is, like many people in the story – they could not see beyond the end of their very practical noses. We do not always know how to dream.The story culminates with the scene where the words He will come are realized in the reconciliation between father and son; healing and wholeness are made real.
It seems that once upon a time, Jesus had a dream. He was aware of all of those who had gone before him, working to build the Kingdom of God. He understood their struggles and failures – but most of all, their dream. Jesus called some people to help him build upon his dream; to make it come alive in spite of the nay-sayers. He worked to help his students understand the dream – to share it and then to work to build it. He was dreaming of a world where people treated each other with respect and honor. He hoped that all would see their connection to understand that OUR FATHER means just that – that creation was ongoing and that we were called to become more human – recognizing a common humanity. He was hoping that they would understand the dream of a community – all united and aware of the Spirit of God that inhabited every atom; every molecule and every element of creation, including ourselves. Jesus dreamed of a day when we would stop building walls of separation and worshiping power and laws that supported power, we would build bridges – where we could celebrate our grand diversity as one creation, coming to be. Jesus was working to form a community that shared his dream; a community that could actually see – to celebrate that same dream and work together to make it happen.
The dream would be that all nations; all religions would work to build this kingdom, rather than spending fortunes attempting to destroy others. It is such a waste of energy and life to spend effort on inquisitions, wars, and so many other forms of discrimination that encourages poverty and fear of the other. We honor the dead of our wars, but then fail to work harder to build peace and justice. This is message of the prophets of the Old Testament – the Talmud. Jesus walked in their footsteps and continues to speak to power. Somewhere along the way, we have become distracted and work on guilt, anger, division, judgement of others, and condemning others to a hell of our own creation instead o building heaven on earth – “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.”
THE FIELD OF DREAMS; BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME.