I dream of a world where love is the first thought

By Rev. Dr. Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock and Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani

What kind of world do you dream of, what world do you long for?

This is the question that began the Beatitudes Fellows’ week-long immersive experience at Auburn this past month.

The Beatitudes Fellowship (now a program of Auburn Seminary) identifies and equips a select group of young entrepreneurial faith leaders with the resources and relationships that empower them to create new models for church and the pursuit of social justice. Each Fellow has a proven track record of leadership, a commitment to full inclusion of all people, a commitment to faith and to social justice, a willingness to take risks and a desire to collaborate with others.

From this quiet space of meditation, the Fellows were asked to finish the sentence: “I dream of a world where…” The lines written from this exercise were woven together to create the “tapestry poem” below, read aloud as a collective prayer, each line a treasure that connected their dreams to one another.

By naming out loud their collective longing and dreaming, a sacred space was created as an entry point to much larger conversations about the fellows’ work and calling to create new models of vibrant church life and pursue justice.

Song Of Our Longing: A Poem By the 2016 Beatitudes Fellows

I dream of a world where love is the first thought—
where people are awake to their hope, where they feel at home and cared for.
A world where everyone opens their doors
to the smell of flowers, food being grown and prepared.
There’s space to play, connect, work together.

I dream of a world that feeds all of God’s creation,
where each of us plant and harvest what we need to thrive,
a world that rests in real relationships forged through shared labor,
breaking bread, communal celebration—surrounded by beauty,
fresh food growing in the dirt, children playing in the courtyard.

I dream of a world where we on the periphery—
who have experienced racism, sexism, homophobia,
brutality, incarceration—can be free, less encumbered,
where we share the burden. A world where white supremacy does not
reign, where each person can live in the full dignity they were created in,
where the unhoused in NYC have safe, clean, beautiful homes.
where we don’t have to exchange our gifts, talents and work for money.

I dream of a world where black lives matter—
a world where different expressions of mutually loving relationships are celebrated,
where all members of the LGBTQ community are embraced,
loved, empowered, invested in and set free
from the cis-hetero-patriarchal powers that be.
I dream of a world that’s accepting of diverse and authentic expression and personhood.
A world where we could all be free—from stereotypes,
unattainable expectations, rigid norms, and hurtful traditions.

I dream of a world where we balance justly
work and rest / wholeness and care for all,
a world where each person experiences dignity
in every cell of their body, from within themselves and from structures.

I long for a world where we see each other as precious,
valued, beautifully unique and intrinsically interconnected.
A world that feels like falling into the space
my grandmother’s body creates, when she lifts her arm
and wraps it around me, pulling me into her—my face against her bosom,
her soft body inviting me in. Completely known, completely loved.

I dream of a world where love is the first thought.
I dream of a world, where it sounds like a dope rhythm
that you never want to end…and…and…and…and…

Rev. Dr. Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock is the Director of Justice Ministry Education at Auburn; Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani is the Data Manager and Art & Ritual Advisor at Auburn.

Which Voices leave you wanting to hear more? Email us ideas for interviews at voices@auburnseminary.org.

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