I was going to write something else this month for my Blog, but had to circle back around to something I read Monday on MLK Jr. Day that just wouldn’t let me go.
I am shocked as an American on how we got to where we are today in our polarized nation. How have we de-evolved to such a state where hatred, judging, finger-pointing, intolerance, incivility, foul mouthed vitriol, looting, burning, and killing fellow American citizens is ok? I went to sleep one night and woke up on another planet.
And covid has only added to the divisiveness. People are divided over masks, lockdowns, and now vaccines, to the point of violence. Unbelievable. What is happening???
I am not looking for a historical, political or intellectual answer. I am talking about humanity, the heart and soul of every man, woman and child (our children and grandchildren are learning hate and racism). Enter Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote a profound article for this past Monday. Let me share an excerpt with you:
When Uncle ML was assassinated in 1968, I was 17 years old and in the restive way of teenagers, I wanted to blame all White people. I wanted to give hate room to grow in my heart. But my mother and father and my grandparents and Uncle ML reminded all of us that hate only begets more hate, and there should not be room in the world for animosity or mistrust or hostility.
When my uncle was killed on April 4, 1968, I remember talking to my daddy about my feelings of hating White people. Daddy rocked me in his arms and said to me, “White people march with us, they go to jail with us, they pray with us, they live with us, and they die with us. White people didn’t kill your uncle, the Devil did.
The next year I was called to forgive again – not only those still-unknown people who had killed my uncle, but now they had killed my father. I had to forgive yet another injustice; including all those that had shrugged off my daddy’s death and called it a suicide.
During this time from 1968 to 1974, much was happening in my life. I became engaged to be married in 1968, a bride in 1969, and a mother in 1970. Still reeling from the brutal deaths of my daddy and uncle I experienced two abortions and a miscarriage. Then on June 30, 1974, my beloved grandmother Alberta King was murdered while playing the Lord’s Prayer on the organ during Sunday services at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Back then I didn’t think my broken heart was big enough to forgive and to go on loving my fellow men and women. But love and forgiveness were the King family legacy, and while that legacy sometimes felt like a burden, I see now how it is a gift.
Wow! That is a whole lotta lovin’ and forgivin’ in Jesus name. From age 17-24 years of age, Alveda had 3 family members murdered, for proclaiming a message of love, acceptance and honor for every human being under heaven. The non-violent, civil rights movement of those days is long gone. Today, we live with reverse racism (white privilege), hatred, reparations, violence and malevolence. In CA, I hear from friends who have done their own research and simply do not believe in the covid restrictions are being verbally and publically assaulted if they don’t go along. My gosh, we have enough research today demonstrating CA (severe restrictions) and FL (open policies) are about equal, all variables considered, on covid cases and deaths. Please stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!
People, it is so easy to draw our own lines in the sand and castigate the “other” but let us learn from Alveda’s message to not “let hate grow in our heart.” We hope and pray for a “turning” of our nation, and soon, but if the worst of humanity and devil-divisiveness plays out, let us march, pray, go to jail, live and die among a kaleidoscope of color-blinded people.
In the meantime, let us too “stick with love for hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.” Lam. 3:22-23
As always, praying you find a new mercy today and everyday,