I can’t write on this day and not stop to celebrate the man who was Martin Luther King Jr. As a history teacher, I try, to engage my students in who this man was and what he stood for. While I am blessed to teach the history of this great nation…I get to talk about MLK not only on the day/week that celebrates him exclusively, but on multiple occasions.
He was a man of great wisdom and beautiful words, great passion and beautiful dreams. I spent a great deal of time today reflecting on some of his words and how he might view the world we all currently live in. I fear his musings may express great disappointment in where we are at, and that makes me sad and ashamed.
Nevertheless, I am hopeful that in households all across America, parents talked to their kids about why they were off school and work today. I am hopeful that all across America there is more love than there is hate.
While it may be cliche…my favorite of his writings are that of his “I have a dream” speech. In this speech he gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1968 he talked about how it had been 100 years since the Emancipation Proclamation has been signed and…”One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.” I love the way he wrote and spoke. His words create a visual image for me and I can almost physically see the manacles and chains.
He goes on to say this, “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds…But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”
Man that’s good stuff. I pray that the bank of justice is NOT bankrupt today. I think we can all agree there is still work to do.
He goes on to say this…”Now is the time, to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
Again, the imagery is incredible. I was not alive when he gave this speech but I would have loved to have heard it live and in person. When I watch it with my class it never ceases to make me cry. It’s just so beautiful.
But…perhaps my favorite part is this: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
Wow. If that doesn’t speak to you, I just really don’t want to know you. I think everyone can agree, being judged by anything other than the content of our character is not something any of us desire.
Again…I wish I could have heard this live. Amazing. If you have never listened to this speech. Please do so, go in a quiet room, close your eyes and just listen to his words. It’s really powerful and beautiful stuff. He was a visionary, a rebel in a lot of ways and he didn’t do what was popular or easy…he did what he believed was right. I have incredible respect for that. King followed the work of Jesus and as I saw a friend post today, we should all aspire to do the work of Jesus! Amen to that!
On a completely unrelated note…another highlight of this day is that we were all off to celebrate our dog, Zoey’s, 15th birthday. In dog years, this sweet furry bundle of goodness is 105. I would not be able to accurately explain how important this dog is to our family or more specifically to me.
Old age hasn’t exactly been kind to Zoey she’s almost completely blind, she’s deaf, she smells bad…but I don’t care. This dog has been a life line for me in the 15 years I’ve been her mom. All the non animal people can roll their eyes at me now, because yes, Zoey was our 1st baby. She came at just the right time and just when I needed her most.
She is the best dog that has ever lived on planet Earth in my very biased opinion and in the 5 years we had her before we had children, she (and Bryan…of course) kept me going through some pretty dark times.
Every time I suffered a loss, she wouldn’t leave my side. She’d sleep right by my belly and would greet me with even more excitement when I got home from work than normal.
When I was pregnant with all 5 kids Zoey slept every night next to my belly as if to guard them and keep them safe. It is the only time in 15 years that she slept next to me. She always preferred the end of the bed or closer to Bryan before. When the babies came home she would take turns napping by them and when they had tummy time she’s always lay on the floor nearby. When people visited the house when the triplets came home she’s always go sit in front of wherever they may have been on the floor as to let everyone know if they messed with her babies they messed with her. She is always incredibly tolerant of their shenanigans and is the best fur sister they could ask for.
I believe that dogs and babies give you unconditional love, something that is rare in this world. Zoey gave me the best kind of unconditional love when I needed it the most and I cannot love her enough. So today, on her 15th birthday I want to celebrate what a good dog she is to all of us. I’m so grateful that Bryan brought home this little bundle of fur to me all those years ago.
I pray she is with us a long time as she is loved and adored by a lot of humans living in this house.
On a final note, I have to share another Fletcherism. Tonight we were playing the game “Life” and I got a action card that said I got $40,000 for winning the “nicest person” award. After reading the card out loud, Fletcher quickly proclaimed that wasn’t true. I said “Fletcher, that isn’t a very nice thing to say to mommy.”
To this he replied, “well mom, you can’t be the nicest person ever because that is JESUS, so you are the 2nd nicest person ever.”
My oh my. I can’t argue with that one!