Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
“I Have a Dream”, Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
As I sit here early this morning, except for the glow from the screen of my laptop, the room is dark. No light can be seen anywhere.
I know from my experiences of the past, that the darkness will be lifted for me and for all of us before too very long as the sun begins its rise across the landscape. We’ll awake to move through the usual themes of our days as we did the day before, and have done day-after-day in the past, and will into each of our tomorrows we are blessed to experience here on earth.
But as I sit here, I’m haunted by this vision I am having of the “dark rooms” around the world which will never see light. Where a darkness prevails which is so deep that not only from sunset to dawn, but from sunrise to dusk, it continues. Places where millions across this country and world will sit waiting for a light to penetrate, for relief to come, for help to reach out to them. “Rough places”, “crooked places” where the sunrise will bring no light for them, no change, and as a result—no hope. Places where it would seem that the glory of the Lord has yet to be revealed.
I suspect that even on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to render his “I Have a Dream” soliloquy from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., he experienced in his own life a sunrise for that day. Perhaps a sunrise which even prodded him to believe anew in the possibilities of change and hope. I suspect that a light filled that day for him, and the next and for most of the rest of his days. No doubt giving him the energy he needed to speak out against the injustices of those days he challenged us all to aspire to change.
And I suspect that the light he experienced that morning could have enticed him to live a self-centered life, and to live out his days for himself and his family, away from the steps of that Lincoln Memorial on which he then stood, away from the streets and bridges in Selma, the jail cells of Birmingham, or the sanitation workers in Memphis. He could have turned away from the injustices he saw and felt. But that was not the theme for the life he chose. That was not the theme for the life for which he was created.
Instead, Dr. King’s life reflected a broader theme than self for the thirty-nine years he walked among us here on earth. It reflected an empathy and passion for those who continued to sit in darkness long after the sun had risen on the rest of us in the world. It reflected a continuing belief in the better chapters of the history of mankind that could be written. Chapters which would reflect that we lifted the least, the lost, the left-behind and the forgotten among us to reveal to all of them the sunshine of a brand new day.
And even though Martin Luther King, Jr. experienced opposition, hatred and abuse along his journey to bring light to the “dark rooms” of lives around the communities, slums, tenements, churches, streets and back-alleys of this country and world, he continued to embrace the possibilities of all that could be for everyone.
And he never allowed himself to be surprised by the belief in those possibilities which flowed from the hearts of others who were also willing to step out of the themes of their own lives—and to join with him and others to write the broader themes of the life they were meant to live.
Broader themes which would penetrate the darkness of the lives of others, and would make a difference in the lives of those isolated in the “dark rooms” of all their days. Broader themes which we need to continue to adopt today to bring light into the “dark rooms” of lives all over the world who need a way out of their darkness. Those who don’t know the saving power of Christ. Those imprisoned in human and sex-trafficking systems around the world. Those subjected daily to gender-based abuse with no way out. Those still subjected to racial, ethnic and cultural tensions and discrimination.
I pray that you and I are never surprised by the hearts of people willing to write and reach for the broader themes of their lives, the themes our Creator envisioned we would live out when He formed us. The themes which would bring light to the “dark rooms” of the lives all around us, near us, and throughout this country and world.
I pray that you and I are never surprised by our own hearts writing the broader themes of our lives, bringing light to the “dark rooms” around us. And I pray that we begin to live out those broader themes of our lives God created us for, to bring light into the “dark rooms” His children everywhere around the world are imprisoned within.
Just something for us to reflect on and think about this day and every day for the rest of our lives.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.