Now usually I don't get all sentimental, but it seems appropriate today. Today is Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. The man who we learned in school was a seemingly one man show who championed non violence, made a great speech in DC, and was then assassinated on a balcony in Memphis, TN. The man who we learned once we reached adulthood was in actuality flawed and complex, but was bold enough to call out the wrongs that he saw in the world and make his life's work about changing said wrongs.
And today many of us are witnessing the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster that has left the already impoverished country Haiti in dire need. Unless you've been living under a rock, you have seen the photos, you have heard the news stories, and if you're like me then it's worse than you could ever imagine. And if you're like me you can't help but say, "there but for the grace of God go I..."
It seems that it's always in tragedy when the "privileged" people unite and realize that there are actually people in this world who are suffering. And I'm not on some Pat Robertson mess, but I wonder if these type of natural disasters - the tsumani, Hurricane Katrina, etc.,- that hit areas that are already experiencing so much devastation are God's wake up call in a sense. To remind us that we are truly blessed. To remind us there are millions of people who have been going without while we have enjoyed so much, and then some. To remind us that there is work to do.
These kind of events make me reflective because as I watch everyone rush to help, I can't help but wonder, where were we before this? And I'm not just talking about Haiti. I'm speaking in general terms - about how we view the world and the part we play. I sit here and type this and think that yes, I call myself a Christian. Yes, I go to church on Sundays. Yes, I pray daily. But what have I done for the least of these? When it's not a tragedy? When the cameras are gone? When it's just a Tuesday and I don't feel like watching that piece on Darfur, or the international sex trade, or unfair labor conditions around the world, or give look the homeless man in the eye as I go to dinner.
As we pay homage to a man who said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," I think about a man who was instrumental in bringing people from all walks of life together to challenge the status quo. And I think about those everyday, ordinary, flawed and complex people who put their lives on the line, who stood in the face of danger, who believed there had to be something else, closed their eyes and envisioned a better world. And I wonder what a better world looks like to me? And what will I do to make it happen?
That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
**Let us continue to pray for the people of Haiti. And I encourage everyone to make a donation to a relief fund. Volunteer. And remember they'll need your help months and years from now.**