MLK - One Week Late
Well, last Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday. Ever since I moved up here to the Portland area, each year I have thought, "I would like to celebrate MLK day by going to some speech, some rally, some event in his honor. Up until this year I either did not have the opportunity or did not have the diligence to find something. This year, thankfully, I was able to find an event in his honor (one that has been going on for about 22 years). It was at the Highland Christian Center in Portland, and it went on all day. There were performers, speakers, booths with information, and tons of people. I had decided to go for a while with Matthew, and I called my friend Mark Harris, and he also came with his daughter Maya. Because of the kids, we were not able to stay too long, but it was amazing for me to get to be a part of something. Next year I hope to go again, and to bring a bunch of people, and to be able to stay for much longer and connect with people who are passionate about this celebration.
I have always associated the word "hero" with those who were bold and sacrificial with regards to unpopular decisions. I think Dr. King definitely deserves this title. I think it would be sad if we relegated him to being merely a great orator. He certainly was, but he was also a leader and a hero. And his words and life still have an impact today. As Jesus said in John 12:24: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." It is easy to see this as a statement meant only to refer to Jesus, but it is not unlikely that Jesus was also speaking proverbially of a general truth. Many times, when someone dies for a cause, fruit is borne out of that person's death. This was true of Jesus, and of many of his followers. It was true of John Huss. It was true of William Wallace (at least in the movie). It was true of Dietrich Bonhoffer. It was true of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you are interested, here is a link to a web page containing Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It has the full video and also the text of the speech. I encourage you to listen to it. If you have heard it before, there is a good chance that you have heard only part of it. Check it out: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm.