Rise Above

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. - Martin Luther King, jr.

I try to be grateful often for being born when, where and who I am. I was born in the latter half of the 20th century (barely) in the United States to parents who loved me and surrounded me with extended family. I am white with a German/Finnish/European background. I was raised in the Lutheran church where I learned grace and forgiveness and love. I had good schooling and my parents paid for my college education. We had homes and always enough to eat.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King Jr.

I’ve rarely had to face prejudice – although I’ve run into glass ceilings frequently as a woman in business (trucking for 16 years) and in the church world. I don’t know what it’s like to live in conditions that I can't control. Generally, I’m accepted wherever I go and not subject to a lot of suspicion or question.

It is not enough to say 'We must not wage war.' It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. -Martin Luther King Jr.

As a college professor from New England said about me and the Midwest students in class – I talk like newscasters and reporters on TV with a “boring” no-accent. I’m mostly in what's considered the mainstream – educated, employed, a homeowner, married and a parent.

Returning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think I don’t contribute to prejudice or racism or systemic injustice. But I know I do. I buy clothes made with the blood, sweat and tears of child labor and factories. I eat food harvested by migrant workers in less than ideal working situations. I talk on a cell phone made far across the ocean. And, so on... too numerous to list. 

The time is always right to do what is right. - Martin Luther King

Last summer I visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN with the GGCC intergenerational mission trip group. It was moving and heartbreaking and I felt guilt by association with the color of my skin.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"- Martin Luther King Jr.

I want to follow Jesus into the path of seeing the image of God in each precious human life. I want to be a peacemaker, not a peace keeper. I want to help make the world a better and more equitable and just place.

"My obligation is to do the right thing. The rest is in God's hands." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I pray that I might risk being uncomfortable for the sake of being a small light in the world. And, that I might follow Jesus, Dr. King and others into helping the Kingdom of God break open here and now.

We’ll be looking for you tomorrow at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. as we consider issues of race and justice with our MLK Jr Panel.

Grace and peace,

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