A colleague who was putting off writing her sermon wondered about how to find the stories of Martin Luther King, Jr. that showed the side of him that we don’t often see: the man who was fearful and lost, the pastor to his people, the father and husband in the small moments. Most of the pictures of King that we see frequently are when he is in his public persona: leading a march, standing in front of a huge crowd who are listening and cheering his inspirational word.
My reading about his life and the Civil Rights Movement overall has given me insight into the man who couldn’t figure out how to make a good budget or how to deal with the expense accounts of the many people who worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Council. I get to see the man fretting over his sermons, and wondering if what he was doing was worthwhile. Seeing King in his vulnerability and loss gives me hope for my small life and small actions.
And I’m also inspired to hope by the sometimes-shaken faith that undergirded all he did that he spoke about when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. He said:
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
To that I say “Amen.”