In Memory of Martin Luther King
There is something that troubles this country. It is found almost everywhere that roles and duties exist. It is found each week when the city waste collectors empty your trash cans. It is found in the streets where one man drops a coin in the cup held by another man’s shivering hand. It is even found in the home where a husband props his feet with a newspaper before his face and his wife serves him dinner.
Nothing appears to be inherently evil when I mention these three pictures. But underlying each is an evil that troubles this nation. It is not found in every picture, but it is all the more popular than we wish to admit. It is one built on the praise of man and in the hearts of the jealous. It is pride concealed in the cloak of democracy and status. It is authority twisted. It is unjust, unruly, and wrong.
It reeks of sin but is cloaked in normalcy. We are so used to it that we have become blinded to its evil. Moreover, we curse its confronter, the Word of God, as ugly, hateful, chauvinistic, wicked, and demeaning. We praise and uphold an ideology that is quietly, yet quickly, destroying our culture. We are delightfully standing in the toilet of waste and pulling the handle to flush ourselves to our own demise.
This evil waves the flag of equality. Its message, however, is one of disorder and chaos. It sounds as if it is a cry for freedom but it is a destroyer of good. It tells the man who strains his back to lift your trash can, “You are lower then they who toss their trash in these containers.” It tells the man on the street who holds his cup up to those passing by, “You are lesser because of where you sleep.” It tells the wife who labors to raise children and serves a dish to her husband recently home from work, “You are small because you have not success in the world of economics.”
Yes, this evil misguides the waste worker, the homeless man, and the homemaker alike. It confuses roles and duties with value and worth. It classifies those made in the image of God in categories that are weighed on the scale of human praise. Those who receive more praise than others, weigh the most. It is they who are righteous and important. It is these others who are nothing more than slaves and animals.
But God is not praising these who praise others by their own moronic measure. His canon is far different. He created both male and female, Jew and Greek, husband and wife, rich and poor, office manager and trash collector. The god of this age has deceived us into thinking that what we do and how much we make and where we live and what pigment our skin is, determines our value.
When we scoff at those whose work is dirtier or sneer at those whose pocket is thinner or scorn those whose wages are unseen, we are no better than our country’s forefathers who treated Africans as livestock. We are the same as the mother who kills her unborn child. We are like the German leader who slaughtered countless Jews. Yes, whenever we hold our nose to the air in regards to another human being, we are in essence the brother of Hitler.
What is this evil? It is the switching of roles with nature. It is defining our value by our situations. It is racism. It is hatred. It is gravely wrong. It is sin against the Lord who created us all equal.
Such a thinking, although seemingly righteous in our own sight, has created a wall so thick that when the truth of Scripture is spoken, we condemn it as if it were from Satan himself. For the Scriptures say that even God, in His mysterious unity, has difference of role. He reveals Himself as submissive yet equal. The Father sends the Son and the Son obeys. But the Son never assumes to be lesser than Him whom has sent Him. Neither does the Father assume to be greater than He whom He sends.
We are commanded to do the same.
I don’t know much about Martin Luther King, but today we celebrate him and his stand to destroy racism and its ugliness. Still, years later after his death we find ourselves with new racism’s – ones we so blindly esteem.
Each of us, made in the image of God, share an equality both spiritually and naturally. We are born the same. We breath the same air. We suffer the same laws. We sin the same and are saved the same. The man who dumps the trash is every much a sinner as the man who fills the trash. No one is different in this respect. We all need a Savior. We all must bow to the Most High.
Until we know and understand our equality and embrace our likeness, we will never live without our racists thoughts. Until we are convinced that those whom this world casts down for their lack of achievements are no lessor than us, we will remain in this spiral slope to suicide – killing ourselves to be better, to be more, to be praised.
We have confused duty with value and class with dignity. For this evil, we must repent and beg the Lord of Mercy for forgiveness. Men and women, rich and poor, black and white, we are all equally sinful and equally needing a Savior to rid us from our hatred and sin.
The beautiful reality is this: God has made us equal, yet diverse. No on is subhuman, but we all serve differently. So the next time your waste collector stops at your curb, consider him to be like yourself. When the homeless man, shakes an empty cup in hope, think of him as your brother. And husbands, when your wife welcomes you home with a hot-cooked dinner, love her for her grace.
We the people are called to compliment each other with spiritual and natural equality. Let us hope for the day when this rabid dog called racism is once and for all killed at the alter of our hearts.
Today, I have this dream.