Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Letters from Jail

Last weekend my wife and I were watching a movie on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Before the movieI didn't know much about his life other than his involvement with the Civil Rights movement and the "I have a dream" speech. Even though we had to leave the house during the movie and only caught 45 minutes of it, I was moved by two parts in the movie. The first was during the bus strike in Montgomery. Dr. King was passionate yet seemed somewhat insecure about being the spokesman for his people. Because the bus strike was successful, the community leaders met with Dr. King and others to plead that they start riding the buses again. After Dr. King finished his reply, a white chairman said something that was extremely difficult for myself to hear as well as Dr. King. The chairman mentioned how Dr. King was a minister of God and his purpose should be leading people to live an obedient Christian life rather than being involved with social matters such as these. Have you ever heard that? "Our job is not involving ourselves with social matters," some Christians might say. This portrays just how disconnected/separated faith and living like Jesus really was and still continues to this day.

The second moment was after Dr. King's house was bombed. No one was hurt, but a mob of African-Americans was starting to form outside of his house waving guns and yelling their discontent towards white policemen. The cops inside asked Dr. King if he could somehow intervene to help the situation because it seemed as though chaos was about to erupt. Walking slowly with a tired look upon his face, Dr. King faced the crowd and reassured the people that his family was not hurt. He echoed his anthem of nonviolence towards the crowd and began to quote the Sermon on the Mount section regarding loving your enemies and turning the other cheek. It brought tears to my eyes to see a man move the crowd as he did, not by talks of war or victory over the white man, but by his passion to love those that persecuted him. I thank God for people like Dr. Martin Luther King who stood for justice without pursuing violence. I'm reading his letters from Birmingham Jail which can be found here.