I know you tire of hearing about things “in Texas.” However, I felt strongly about this message sent to me today by the Director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, James Harrington, former parishioner and good friend. These are quotes from his remarks, that would be good for us to remember, in the Church, no matter what political, theological, spiritual spectrum we find ourselves on or claim.
“Neither Martin Luther King nor Rosa Parks descended from heaven to take up positions as civil rights leaders among us. Nor did César Chávez or Susan B. Anthony. They became who they were because their family, friends, colleagues, and even enemies, prodded them along from the time they were children and helped them grow their dedication and hone their leadership skills.
Occasions like the Martin Luther King holiday should challenge us to realize the potential impact we can have on our relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors, if we take the time to nudge, encourage, and support them. We might actually help raise up the next King, Parks, Chávez, or Anthony. When we remember them, it is also fitting to recall and honor the people who influenced their lives.
This is important to remember on the MLK holiday because we have a tendency to deify our heroes and forget they started out like each of us. Making gods of our heroes can become an easy excuse for not doing the work we know we should do. We tell ourselves that they, and only they, could bring about great changes, and excuse ourselves from the task. ….
…. Dr. King believed in Eleanor Roosevelt’s observation: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home … where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity, without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”
Each of us make a difference, and what may seem small, in and with God, is never so.
Blessings this day,