There is a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that I keep on my desk.
In it, he wears a perfectly pressed black business suit, the portrait of sophistication and class.
The background is a dilapidated house, his childhood home.
The picture captures what King was all about: a new era of justice, bursting from an oppressive past.
What impresses me most about King is not what he amassed—a string of degrees, a beautiful family, worldwide fame, and a name that will live on for generations.
What amazes me most about King is what he gave up—his family, his future, and his very life.
I am amazed that a man who had so much was willing to give up so much, and that in the face of threats (two home bombings and twenty-nine jail cells), he continued preaching, continued fighting. He never backed down.
Where do we see that kind of sacrifice and suffering anymore?
Do we see that kind of sacrifice and suffering anymore?
As a middle-class, college-educated African American woman, a primary beneficiary of King’s fight and legacy, I pray that I can continue his dream, not just in what I amass, but in what I’m willing to give up for those suffering at the hands of injustice and poverty.
I pray that I am willing to give my time, my money, and if need be, my very life.
We are, after all, all God’s children.
“We must be reminded anew that God is at work in his universe. He is not outside the world looking on with a sort of cold indifference. Here on all the roads of life, he is striving in our striving. Like an ever-loving Father, he is working through history for the salvation of his children. As we struggle to defeat the forces of evil, the God of the universe struggles with us.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.,
King Came Preaching