04 April 2008

Forty Years Ago today

...at this hour, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

His words at his last speech before his death were prophetic and chilling:
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

We want to think that, if we are good people, good things will happen to us, that somehow God will reward our goodness.

Wrong. Look at Jesus, look at Martin.

Do good things and people will most certainly despise you and you may be cut down in the prime of your life, slain in the most horrible way.

The lesson of the assassinations of Jesus and Dr. King is the same: the killing did not matter. Just because their bodies were stopped doesn't mean they stopped. They knew they were greater than death, as we all can be if only we have the heart, the courage.

The influence of the truly righteous continues after they die and it keeps getting stronger because goodness and truth are contagious.

This is a sad and hurting world and it needs all of us to work to make it better. We are a team and if we don't all help each other, no one wins.

I try to remember that everyone I meet is on my team. The mother struggling with the stroller and a heavy door is my teammate. The sad cashier at the grocery store is playing, too. The angry neighbor, the rookie cop - I may not like them, but these are the people who have showed up to the game today, and I have to make adjustments to accommodate them. When I help them, we score. If I refuse to help them, no one scores.

I don't have a big dream like Dr. King. I just want to be welcoming and to be kind and then to take it from there. I figure that is a good place to start.

And here's a little song...


Count Mockula said...

That was lovely. Don't Dr. King's words always sound fresh?

Mignon said...

I'm sporty miss-sporty-pants, and I feel the same way, but when you couch it in terms that I'm familiar with, it rings even more true. I feel like I'm a Do Right kind of person, and I like the idea that we're on a team working toward a common goal of peace and happiness. Good post, SueBob.

Miss Britt said...

"We want to think that, if we are good people, good things will happen to us, that somehow God will reward our goodness.

Wrong. Look at Jesus, look at Martin. "

See, I think that's a contradiction.

LOOK at Jesus - I think He would tell you he received his reward.

As would Martin. To have "seen the mountaintop" and find that peace? I think that too is a reward.

I love, love, love what you said about being on the same team. Love it. Did I say that?

SUEB0B said...

Miss Britt - I just meant that we tend to think in terms of the physical world and its rewards. I have no doubt that Jesus and Dr. King have received rewards unimaginable to us.

Anonymous said...

Just a beautiful post. I really like your team analogy and I'm going to try to remember it when I go about my business in town.

Day Dreamer said...

I love the way you put this. I heartily agree with you that we are all on the same team.

Sometimes I'm better than others.

But I'm always trying.

I appreciated this post so very much. That speach always gets to me. Always.

Amie Adams said...

I can't even imagine possessing that kind of greatness and humility. Like you, I just try to do the little things and hope it makes a small difference.

Kizz said...

Go Team!

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