I’m so glad that America has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.
I was born nearly 10 years after his tragic assassination. I wasn’t there to watch reports of the marches on the evening news. I didn’t read about legislative struggles in the newspaper. I wasn’t around to see others’ reactions. I wasn’t able to talk to my parents and grandparents to get their feedback as they processed all that was happening in our nation.
I only know the America that Dr. King helped to forge. And, I’m grateful for the work that he and countless others did to help our nation move forward.
I’m glad I live in a nation in which segregation isn’t the law. I’m grateful I have had the ability to live alongside black friends and neighbors. I cherish the opportunity to worship beside black men and women. I’m glad my parents refused to perpetuate the subtle bigotry and overt racism that I’m positive they witnessed when they were young. And, I’m blessed—so blessed—that my son is growing up in a world in which he doesn’t have any reason to be concerned about the fact that several of his best friends have darker skin than him.
We owe a lot of this to Dr. King and his dream.
It is important that I qualify my statements. I do not want to be another privileged white man who either naively or hypocritically pretends that there aren’t still appalling racial and socio-economic injustices in our nation. There are. And, they are calling out for our time and attention. Nor do I want to pretend that some of the filthy residue of the hateful racial words attitudes I have witnessed hasn’t sloughed off on me. Embarrassingly, it has. I’m aware of it. By God’s grace, it is in check.
Every person and institution has the opportunity and, I think, the obligation to oppose the injustices that still exist, both within and around. As we do so, we’ll become more and more the nation and people about whom Dr. King dreamed.
Today, my son brought home from school a worksheet with a clumsy line drawing of a dove. Along with it, came this assignment:
Tonight, in your child’s folder, you will see a dove … The students created their own dreams doves in class today. … Please follow your student’s example and come up with a dream for your entire family. It can be any kind of dream!
What a great assignment! (Thanks, Mrs. Rowe!) We did take some time to sit down and talk about our dream as a family. It is written down. It’s now up to us to do it. Who knows what God might accomplish in our family, our hearts and our community if we dare to act on our dream.
What about you?
In the spirit of the day, what’s your dream? And, how might your dream make a difference?