Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. — his commitment to justice and his dream for all mankind to live as brothers and sisters in harmony, no matter the color of our skin.
He was a man committed to God, who advanced the Civil Rights Movement through his non-violent protests and his passion for racial equality. He considered his work in civil rights to be part of his Christian ministry.
He was a leader, an influencer, a charismatic orator whose “I Have a Dream” speech still resonates in our collective memory as much as or more than any presidential speech before or after his time.
I’ve spoken openly on this blog about my own personal “justice-seeking” tendencies. But never have I been more driven toward justice than I have since my son was diagnosed with autism. Suddenly he — and as his family, we — were thrust into a world where we are often seen as “less than.”
When the tables are turned, when you are on the receiving end of injustice, everything changes.
Although I will never know and experience the trials and struggles of the black community, I have known and experienced injustice.
- Over the years our family has been excluded, turned away, looked down upon.
- We have been blamed for the disability.
- We have pleaded and appealed only to have doors closed in our faces.
- We have walked wounded and had our hearts broken.
- We are still fighting an uphill battle.
But we are still here. We are — by and large — a happy, normal family. . .with the added challenge of autism.
With God’s help and strength, we will rise above whatever circumstances are ours to live out. We will stand up to injustice and advocate for our son and for others like him in whatever ways necessary. Because justice is personal to us now.
Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere
And so, in honor of Dr. King and the legacy he leaves behind, I ask you to consider where injustice exists and what you can do about it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Where is the everyday injustice in your life? Where do you see it every single day? How can you make a difference? How can you stand for justice in an unjust world?
I’ve spent too much of my life feeling guilty for the passion that burns within my soul for justice. But that guilt was ill-placed, laid on me by the accuser, NOT by God.
Because the God we worship is a God of justice. And he commands that we be a justice-seeking people.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
He is a just God who insists that each human life has innate and immeasurable value. He is a loving God who makes people — all people — in His image. And who demands that all created in His image be treated with dignity and respect.
We as Christians say we love God. Well, this is how we show God we love Him: by loving what He loves.
What does God love?
God loves people.
- All kinds of people.
- All colors of people.
- All genders of people.
- People of every nation, language, and tribe.
God loves the people who look and act and think like you. . . and the people who don’t.
How do we best love God?
By loving what He loves.
This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. did. He obeyed God’s command to love people and to defend the downtrodden. He refused to remain quiet about the things that mattered most.
He loved what God loved.
And it made all the difference.
P.S. All photos are from the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC or from the National Civil Rights Museum in Nashville, TN. Both are places you should try to visit in your lifetime.
And to see more of my justice-seeking personality, check out these posts: