A white woman reflecting on the truths of MLKjr…
Although it may seem trite for a pale of skin female to remark on the words of man of color used to change the world, at the least, to change America, I am compelled to examine my heart before the Lord and the truths of Scripture as I give thanks for the truths Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed.
Last night, on the drive home from a family birthday party in Hamlet, North Carolina, a discussion occurred on the history of the Burwell family. My husband’s namesake, the Burwell’s of Virginia owned the most slaves in the North America at one point in time. As “our” Burwell shared this information, Lindy and I sat in silence for a moment soaking in the new facts.
Lindy first replied, “What happened to all the money?” No one knew. Generations out…nothing. Praise God! Somehow, we thanked God that nothing built on slavery trickled to us. We wondered. Squandered? Removed from their hands by God? How did they entreat the slaves? Burwell shared, with limited investigation, that he found no stories of heinous treatment of slaves from this family. Nevertheless, slave-owners…big-time!!!
In further inquiry, Lindy asked, “Did anyone in the family protest slavery?” Burwell and I pondered. I questioned, “How might any person accept the culture of their lifetime when the Lord places within each, who receives Him, the ability to know His Word…to comprehend His justice and mercy?” And we explained the life of William Wilberforce to Lindy.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. __Martin Luther King, Jr.
Prior to our births, much of America changed. Slavery ended. Judges demanded equal work for equal pay . Retribution occurred for blacks…in some ways.
Today, justice is not entirely served. Progress in equality remains a goal, and sadly, problems continue.
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. __Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our leaders debate and create laws to ensure greater equality. The American population is often confused as to how to respond to its heritage of slavery. Politicians deliberate on how much to yield to the desires of today’s generation to accomplish payment for the past. Additionally, when agreed upon to make retribution, fulfillment of it is debated.
Finally, I ask, “what response to this issue of a history of slavery and continued racism today does God require of me?”
In walking with Jesus over the years now, He leads me to these simple answers:
1. The disciples asked Christ which commandment is the greatest…to which, “Jesus said to them, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37-39.
2. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
As Christ-followers, we are to pursue peace. We may do that today in our generation. I can be responsible for my own actions today.
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.__Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26
Always be prepared to obey the Lord in action with the guidance of His Spirit and the love of Christ. Reading the news, following the making of laws, voting, and above all, praying for those laboring in these areas is essential to my obedience to Christ on this issue of racism in America today and the Christian’s present response to slavery. If I ignore these areas, I am guilty of having a dead faith. The Christ-follower should continue to grow in obedience in these areas. I pray that God continues to stretch me.
Moment by Moment in Him,