Today, we celebrated a man who has changed the course of our history, who changed the perception of human minds and challenged the ideas of society, who spoke truth and wisdom with peace and love, who lived what he spoke and was full of integrity. He loved. He served. He dreamed.
And this day hits me in a number of ways. I am so grateful, because my family is made up of a multitude of colors and ethnicities, and I love it. I love the variety of it, the beauty it portrays, the questions it causes people to ask, the Jesus that it shows. I love that our world is not made up of people who look the same and I love that God is so unique and interesting that He chooses to make us mimic this in the portraits of ourselves. And I love that because people of courage and people of peace chose to recognize injustice and speak for the misunderstood. I love that these acts of bravery have changed the course of many friends and families that I know, and that there are people like this in the world to admire. I love that he is recognized as a hero. I love that he lived Jesus.
And so I wonder, did he find himself so significant, or did he just speak the words he knew were right? Did he ever think that his words would ignite a movement that has changed the course of our nation? I think he knew there was power in what he spoke, but I don’t know if he understood that his dream would be a reality.
It makes me question myself and the things I am so willing to talk about in the confines of my friendships, of my safe places. Am I willing to say them publicly? Am I willing to stand for the injustices that I see and have the courage to speak words? Would I do it in humility? Would I do it with grace? Would people even listen? Is that the only reason I would start talking?
These world changers, these peacemakers, these people of courage have challenged me. They have shown me character and humility and how to follow what is right. I hope that I can dream the big things, the hard things, and be willing to stand for truth. I wish that I could look these people in the eye and say thank you for the difference they have made in my life, thank them for the courage they portrayed, because the people who make a difference often don’t get to see the fruits of their labor. I am so grateful for these people that we can show to our children, and teach them the truths that can so often get lost in the shuffle– that good can win, and love does work, truth is the answer, and Jesus makes all the difference.