Have We Abandoned Our Call to Be Wounded Dreamers?

by Mark Votava


My own journey in life has led me to feel the pain of dreams falling apart, expectations going unfulfilled and willfully living unaware of the responsibility I have to be the example in the world I long to see.  This is a constant tension within me.  But getting in touch with my pain is helping me to become a more compassionate person when it would be a whole lot easier to become angry and cynical.

  • Getting in touch with our own pain

One of my favorite writers Kelly Bean states, “Getting in touch with our own pain and becoming aware of our own brokenness is not an easy path, but it’s one that leads to our own transformation as well as the possibility of forming authentic relationships.  No matter how many good intentions we have, if we are not becoming more self-aware and taking active measures to continue toward growth and healing, our work and our relationships can only go so far and may end up causing more harm than good over time…”

  • Working out a way of love in the world

It seems that the path toward growth in our lives starts with where we live.  I have decided to stop running from my pain and start learning what it means to love instead.  Isn’t this the simplest and hardest thing to do in life.  To stay rooted in a particular place for a decade or longer just might be the most radical thing we can do to work out a way of love in the world.

  • Becoming a wounded dreamer

Even though many dreams have fallen apart over the years and expectations have gone unfulfilled at times, I am learning to have the courage to believe in the possibilities God has placed inside of me.  I am becoming a wounded dreamer, a believer in life.  A practitioner of grace, gratitude, compassion and love is what I am becoming even though it is difficult.

  • I had a dream

I had a dream yesterday in which I was seeing miracles of love all around me.  I saw people quitting their high end jobs and simplifying to become more faithfully present to their context.  I saw people apologizing for the hurt they have caused others with the hope of reconciliation.  I saw others opening their homes and their tables to the less fortunate.

  • Communities flourishing

In my dream, I could see communities flourishing as hundreds of people became rooted and linked in particular neighborhoods rekindling a passion for local ways of life as the body of Christ in everyday life.  I saw others learning from their neighbors, laying down their prejudices and opinions in order to love and show compassion.  Great joy flowed within me as I reflected on my dream.  Life is not always supposed to be easy and we are to become wounded dreamers in the midst of it all.

How can we become wounded dreamers again?