On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. At 39, his life was prematurely ended by an assassin’s bullet, but the power of his nonviolent message of justice and peace could not be killed. Today marks the 50th anniversary of that fateful day. As a result, the sobering commemoration has sparked reflection among many Christians who know the church’s troubled history regarding racial justice.
Dr. King had this concept of Beloved Community that he makes a case for in his book that I’m reading—his final published body of work entitled “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” It was a prophetic idea of ACTIVE, counter-cultural nonviolent philosophies that required both reformation of the heart, reformation of unjust systems, and—most importantly—a vision for what we could be, if we are willing to make the choice of operating differently with one another than the way society, history and false, divisive narratives urge us to be with one another.
Because as much as we have knee-jerk, visceral reactions to the fruit that is borne from the sick heart of America, we ultimately have the power to make a choice about the kind of person we want to be. The kind of intentional impact our words and actions will have on others for progress or regress of a cause. We have the responsibility of stewarding our hearts & emotions, and not allowing fear or hurt have the immediate, final say over how we choose to sow our lives. Because our lives are actually seeds we have the ability to sow—to plant & produce more of what we hope to see in the earth. Your life, your love, and how you spend them, matters. Choose wisely.
I, for one, choose that if I’m going to spend my life on anything, it will be on the vision of the types of relationships that are possible, because of what Christ has done to make possible the heart-transformation of man. I won’t let legitimate pain & anger over what has brought us here rob me from working towards what is still possible. I’ll do it alone if I have to. But I’ll fight alongside whomever is with me. #KingInTheWilderness #mlk #resist #floodlightinitiative #peaceisnotpassive