Harrell Beck

The Wisdom of Harrell Beck

What do you think your mother thought?


So, anytime you gather in the sanctuary, could the minister possibly say to you, “For whom are you dreaming dreams? For whom are you dancing dances? For whom are you writing poetry? For whom are you seeing visions? For whom are you writing poetry?” Can you hear me? A few years ago I got cornered into speaking to forty Methodist Bishops on a hot afternoon in July in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I wasn’t prepared — and in an unguarded moment found myself asking, “What do you think your mother thought when she was changing your diapers?” I shouldn’t have said it. I shouldn’t have said it for several reasons; one of which is, of course, that there are a considerable number of Methodist Bishops who never wore diapers. I call them the “immaculate exceptions.”

Okay then, I’ll ask you, “What do you think your mother thought when she was washing your diapers?”  “This dirty kid; I thought he would come to a better end”?

But don’t you know that most of us are here because somebody who had their hands in our reality dreamed of what we might become? Don’t you know it!? And some of you on campus and in camps, dream for kids and write poetry, sing songs, dance dances. That is the foolishness of Christ: that you have your hands in the dirt of the world and you’ve got your dreams in the hands of God.

— Harrell Beck "When the Eagle Flies High"

— diapered baby photo credit: Little Spruce Organics