Enjoying Hope! Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This week, my daughter Chantel was awarded the community’s Dr. Martin Luther King Citizenship Award. You already know I was extremely excited — and one proud mama — not only for my daughter, but for the other 150 recipients as well.
As soon as I entered the auditorium I spotted my dear friend Yvonne. We were into about 15 minutes of the program, when she and I both were moved to tears. There was a mother and three children — ages 7, 6, and 5 — who just two weeks ago survived an act an act of domestic violence by the mother’s boyfriend. The 7-year-old was able to escape out a window and flag down an adult to call 911…and because of his quick thinking and heroic efforts, he saved his family’s life. During the ceremony he was given an award by the city’s new mayor and chief of police! As he received the award, I wasn’t sure whether Yvonne and I would make it through the rest of the program — because we couldn’t hold back the tears…but we fought through it.
The program then escalated to even greater heights, with the guest minister’s keynote message to the youth and adults: “Wake Up!” Listening, I couldn’t help but recall how it wasn’t too long ago — when I was in high school — that we didn’t even celebrate Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday…nor did the city schools acknowledge it. We only knew what our parents and family taught us.
There was no “awareness” ceremony 25 years ago. Heck, it was a big uproar in the community about the naming of the local street to MLK Blvd.! The one-hour event exemplified what Dr. King stood for — and his life and legacy. It was a reminder of how, although I didn’t learn everything about civil rights and the Dr. King as a child, I had made it my purpose to not only share with my children the great things he’d accomplished, but also the importance of dreaming — and how vital it is never to allow anyone to still or squash their dream.
Some days it’s certain we must just move by faith and hope. As a mom, I’m so grateful that I have inspired my children to believe in themselves and that they can do whatever they set their minds and hearts to do — because of the foundation set by individuals who sacrificed their lives…so that we can dream today. I’m reminded, because every time my son walks around the house…or steps out on the basketball court…on his earphone the verse Romans 8:28 is marked permanent in a black sharpie:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
Today, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s remember that we all have a purpose in life…and an assignment only we can fulfill. It doesn’t matter whether we believe it’s great or small: if we have faith and hope…our dreams WILL become a reality!