Monday, January 16, 2006

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great American civil rights leader, Google has posted an MLK icon with the words, "I Have A Dream" emblazoned underneath the Google icon. It was a nice surprise to see that Google took the time to do that.

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Personally, this man has affected my life since childhood. As a kid I use to cry tears of amazement when I heard his speeches or watched the rallies on television, and I use to think,

"...This man has such passion and intelligence. Such strength, courage and hope! What brilliance to respond to violence with non-violence in the face of annihilation and violence. It is truly disarming!"

There were few people on this earth who with Love, conquered hate, who transcended this life and world with a philosophy of love and kindness; forgiveness and nonviolence. Dr. Martin Luther King is one of those persons. In my mind I think of three great leaders who taught love to break free from the hate of the world and its oppression.

Jesus, Ghandi, and yes, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Below is an excerpt from an article that quoted Dr. King's biography in which Dr. King hears the voice of Jesus Christ.

This excerpt was during the time when he was receiving numerous death threats over the telephone and seriously thinking about giving up the leadership role in the movement after having been jailed and threats made against his life (up to 30 times per day):

Unwelcome thoughts prey on the mind in the late hours, and King was overcome with fear. "I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. I had heard these things before, but for some reason that night it got to me.

Stirred into wakefulness, King made a pot of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. "I felt myself faltering," he said. It was as though the violent undercurrents of the protest rushed in upon him with heightened force, and he surveyed the turbulent waters for a way of escape, searching for an exit point between courage and convenience-"a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward"-and he found none. "I was ready to give up," he said.

King thought of baby Yoki sleeping in her crib, of her "little gentle smile," and of Coretta, who had sacrificed her music career, according to the milieu of the Baptist pastor's wife, to follow her husband south. For the first time, he grasped the seriousness of his situation and with it the inescapable fact that his family could be taken away from him any minute, or more likely he from them. He felt himself reeling within, as the Psalmist had said, his soul "melted because of trouble, at wit's end." "I felt myself . . . growing in fear," said King.

Sitting at his kitchen table sipping the coffee, King's thoughts were interrupted by a sudden notion that at once intensified his desperation and clarified his options. "Something said to me, 'You can't call on Daddy now, you can't call on Mama. You've got to call on that something in that person that your daddy used to tell you about, that power that can make a way out of no way.'" With his head now buried in his hands, King bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. He said:
Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I still think I'm right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now, I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone.

As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world." Then King heard the voice of Jesus. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone."

And as the voice washed over the stains of the wretched caller, King reached a spiritual shore beyond fear and apprehension. "I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before," he said. "Almost at once my fears began to go," King said of the midnight flash of illumination and resolve. "My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."

Happy Birthday Dr. King! Your memory lives on, certainly in my heart as a true American Hero.


At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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