In the movie The Greatest Showman the young P.T. Barnum dreams of a new world. A world that he imagines would be colorful and perfect. A world that is in bright contrast that he currently lives in.
The following are lyrics from the song, A Million Dreams performed by Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Williams.
I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through the dark, through the door
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design
‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make
The Young P.T. Barnum was a dreamer and true visionary. What is visionary? It is someone who sees the future as it could be or even as it should be.
Leaders who are compelled by vision are often thought to be crazy. People think they have lost their minds because the work tirelessly to achieve this preferred future reality that others cannot see or understand. It isn’t until these million dreams of leaders become reality that others stop viewing them as crazy.
I imagine the difficulty that Jesus must have experienced while he lived and ministered on earth. He obviously saw the world as it could be and should be. People could not see what he saw. Even religious leaders did not catch the vision of Jesus. Jesus desired to make a reality for the world and the Church. Jesus desired a reality that was full of the brightest colors and variety that others were not open to our accepting of.
Take Luke Chapter 14 for example. Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of his day. He tried no less than three times in three different ways to communicate one single message. He wanted the Church of his day to not only be accepting of the poor and people of affected by disability, but he also wanted them to urgently go out and bring them in and embrace them.
Jesus understood that those who appear to be weak are indispensable. He saw that the Church of his day was incomplete. He had a dream that all who were purposely excluded would one day be accepted, embraced, and loved as an equal. Jesus was thought to be crazy for commanding this. People could not see the preferred future that Jesus saw. Because he was viewed as such a radical he was eventually killed.
Seeing the world differently and fighting for a new future reality is at times costly. But those who are visionaries cannot rest until they see their dreams come true.
I believe that this dream of Jesus is still our calling today. He commanded religious leaders to make the Church complete by including ALL people. ALL people, includes the poor and those affected by disability. Jesus couldn’t have been clearer in Luke Chapter 14.
I believe that one of the reasons that Jesus has yet to return is because he is patiently waiting religious leaders to “get it.” To finally fulfill his dream for the church to be complete. I believe that if we would chase after this dream and live in a world as Jesus desired to design he would say “well done good and faithful servants.” He would then be comfortable in returning knowing that ALL of his creation had a chance to be loved and embraced by the Church.
All “The Greatest Showman” name, lyrics and images copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
It is Ryan’s passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan, Director of Program Development, comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan’s commitment to life and ministry.