As I reflect on this day I am thankful, profoundly thankful.
I am personally thankful that despite all of my predictions about those small-minded enough to keep him out of office on the basis of skin color alone, we as a nation showed ourselves to be on the way to overcoming judgment on the basis of unavoidable personal characteristics. I'm not happy about the election overall, but I must admit that a small candle of hope and joy was kindled by the fact that a person of color could be elected to the highest office in the land.
And more importantly, when driving to the Magic Kingdom this morning with Sam and quizzing him on why I was home to do this the following occurred:
"Do you know why I'm home today to take you to the Magic Kingdom."
"Because it's Martin Luther King day."
"And why is Martin Luther King important?"
"Because he made it possible for brown people to live with white people and so we could become a family."
That really touched my heart. I explained that courageous people could do this before MLK and the like, but that it took a great deal of courage to defy social convention that way--courage I'm not certain that I have. However, in most places today, this is a relatively easy commitment to make.
But there's nothing to bring home a celebration like making it personal. And so, my thanks for the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, a flawed visionary and a man of peace, encouraging all to look past the surface and to see the shining dignity of each human being whether black, white, yellow, red, Christian, Jew, Muslim, gay, straight--all human, all worthy of love and made worthy of love by the love invested and lavished by our Creator and Father.
Thank goodness someone had the courage to stand up for what is right and is only now beginning to be accepted as normal. His lessons should be the lessons we internalize and examine as we look to other groups who are fighting injustices and difficulties. We can't paint all with the same brush, but we do well to look beyond the individual configuration and to determine what is just and what is right.
And perhaps, for those who read Ms. Vowell's book, reviewed below, we might do well to internalize a little of Roger Williams's teaching regarding laws about the first table or any table.
May God continue to raise up courageous leaders who will fight the good fight for the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, for those who have no voice of their own. It is far too easy to dismiss and forget that we are visited by Grace in the persons of those who surround us every day. We need to begin to see the grace and act on it.