Remembering Dr. King

(Source: news.hr.ufl.edu)

As I think about what I was taught in school regarding the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, his “I Have A Dream” speech is most prominent. But recently, while working on a project, I had an opportunity to watch a documentary called King In The Wilderness. The documentary chronicles the latter chapters of Dr. King’s life through the eyes of those that were closest to him. The video showed a clip of the speech Dr. King gave at Mason Temple Church in Memphis. It may be due in part to the current social climate, but his words in this speech had stronger impact on me.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Dr. Martin Luther King

To many, these closing words that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke the night before he was assassinated, was him foretelling his own death. It could be argued that he revealed he had counted the cost and was at peace with the calling on his life. Dr. King’s faith and conviction would not allow him to waver from the vision he knew was far greater than himself. Dr. King believed that love and trust would always triumph over fear and hatred – he was strengthened by promises given to those who have their faith in Jesus Christ.

I don’t believe that Dr. King’s faith in the word of God can be over stated. Yet, I rarely see it emphasized. To say someone is a pastor or preacher today invokes a very different connotation. In my youth, pastors were given a high degree of respect – particularly in the black community. A pastor’s sphere of influence ran much deeper during that time as opposed to today. Seeing video footage of Dr. King’s interviews, I could see that he was carrying the weight of the country on his shoulders – much more than he should have been carrying.

As I remember Dr. King, I appreciate the demonstration of his faith the most. Dr. King wanted us to know that we can live in peace, and we are all capable of extraordinary love – when we trust in Jesus and take the focus off ourselves.