A hero’s words…

I love this photo from our time in Ethiopia last summer. It has even greater meaning on a day like today when we pause to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was one of so many who fought the hard fight to encourage us all to see people for who they are and not for the color or their skin. This fight is far from over and I thank God for those before me and beside me who were willing to risk it all…

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”
— Martin Luther King Jr. (I Have A Dream)

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
— Martin Luther King Jr. (I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World, Special 75th Anniversary Edition)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a fundamental principle I want my children to fully embrace and practice as they grow into adults. There are few things more important than how we handle ourselves in the middle of challenge and strife. How will our children take on the hardships of this world?

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”)”

— Martin Luther King Jr. (A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.)

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.