“For broken dreams the cure is dream again. And deeper.”
My Dad printed up this quote in purple and blue ink and put it up behind his most prized possession—the computer. It sat next to several quotes from the bible and I was always sure who our house served—the Lord and Dad. Dad invoked a more visceral vengefulness than incomprehensible God. He was the patriarch. Always quietly in charge.
He bought a Gateway computer in the 90’s and I remember shivering with excitement as the cow-print box showed up underneath the verse inscribed door knocker. Dad must have spent months researching what computer to purchase studying bent copies of the Consumer Report and watching with darting eyes as folks from the neighborhood bought computers. He wanted to best one. And here it was on the doormat.
He gingerly unpacked the computer like the leg lamp from the iconic “Christmas Story” movie. That computer may have caused the same family strife as in the film. We watched our obsessed father spend too much time with an inanimate object. I listened from my room to the creak of his green swivel chair as he took financial risks he would never take emotionally.
Dad had printed up the quote right after I had fractured my right foot, oddly enough, in the shape of a cross. First one vertical crack, basketball camp, and another horizontal crack. I had plans to play division one basketball and was heavily into Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I had my life planned out. I wore a promise ring, I prayed for my future spouse. I excelled in academics. I was president of any club I joined. I had so many dreams.
I felt God was behind this plan as I read over and over Jeremiah 29:11: “I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering.” I knew God wouldn’t let me down. But here I was, in a stinkin’ cast, for six weeks. It put me behind just enough in my training to take away my edge and the pain shook my faith enough to break my dreams.
My father knew how much my dream of playing basketball meant to me. He knew how early I would wake up as we drove in silence to my three-a-day practices and how late at night I would study away at my devotions looking for answers in the Bible as to how I could use basketball to serve the Lord. He knew I had been shattered.
I walked away from basketball. I started playing piano. I got into drugs. Life became a dream. Drug addiction like deep, deep, sleep taking away the edge of walking away from my faith. I didn’t care if God had plans for me. I didn’t care if I never shot a free throw again. God had let me down and I was going to let Him down as well.
Years later this quote means so much to me I’ve not only memorized it, but I feel it, I live it. My dreams have been broken over and over and they will be broken again. But C.S. Lewis is right. Dream again. Dream bigger. Dream deeper. These are the words I feel my Dad sent me in prayer even if he didn’t have the words or emotions to say them. He understood me on a spiritual level and he accepted me just the way I am. And so, I dream again.