As we were walking through the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN something hit me.
We had taken groups of people, and friends to this museum before but I never saw it. Maybe you have had that happen to you when reading a book, or watching a movie. You suddenly see something that you never saw before.
Upon concluding the tour before heading across the way to see where Dr. King was shot from, you pass by Dr. King’s room. Like I said, I have passed by this room several times and I never saw this until now.
Dr. King’s briefcase is open and I never really looked inside of it but this day I did. As I studied the contents of his briefcase, I noticed one book, in particular, sticking out halfway. The title of the book struck me, “Strength To Love.”
Interestingly, I couldn’t see the author which intrigued me even more. Come to find out it was written by Dr. King and it is a book that I have read every year since getting it.
When most people think about Dr. King, they think about the big speech. Funny how we always love the large and sensational, isn’t it? We often forget about the smaller, seemingly insignificant things that don’t cross the tv screen but still take place.
Think about this for a moment. At one moment in his life, his six-year-old daughther asked him this question:
“Daddy, why do you have to go to jail so much?”
I am sure that your daughter or son have probably asked you questions, but that was probably not one of them.
I often joked with some great friends of mine, Pastor Seth Still, and the late Dr. Larry Haywood, about what my response would have been if I was black. If I am honest, I am not sure that I would have responded the way that Dr. King did.
How did this man, who endured so much, handle things that way he did? How did he not lash out in anger and hate, rather in love and compassion towards the very people that hated him?
Let me conclude by saying this.
Christians, we are the church are we not? This means that live in the world but we are not of the world, right? Doesn’t it mean that we should influence culture rather than letting culture influence us? Isn’t that what Jesus did? I think we can all agree that it was. As a matter of fact, someone created wristbands with the infamous, “WWJD” to remind us in case we forgot.
In celebrating Dr. King’s life and legacy, we find roots in scripture because he could not have made it as far as he did without extreme love. That love is ONLY found in Christ and cannot be manipulated or faked in any way. It is genuine and needs no introduction for you can sense it when it walks through the door. It is different for it doesn’t hold grudges, rights or wrongs. It forgives at every turn.
My hope is that you made it to the end of this writing, maybe contemplate buying his book, but most of all, investigate this real love that is available for all.