Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are we just existing or are we committed to being awake?

Religious life after King: stay awake!
As I sit here looking out the window on an icy afternoon, I contemplate my own moral attitude and what I feel the religious community needs to be doing in light of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is Black History Month, and many folks are pulling King’s name out of their back pockets. It is a Dives/Lazarus moment.

I am reminded of a discussion recently with a European friend. We talked about whether I should give a dollar to a homeless beggar we encountered on the street. “Whenever I see these people, I tend to think they are in a better place than I am, with no mortgage or car payment. I’m the one who’s in debt," he advised me. "You yourself are living off your husband’s salary and have no cash in your pockets. We should be asking the beggar for a handout!”

Then I told him how selfish I think some religious folks are, especially those who know I don’t have a steady income but ask me to volunteer to help the church raise money to pay for icons. As if giving me something to do without being compensated would make me feel worthwhile. My friend just shook his head and ordered another cup of black coffee. Is this what MLK would want us to be doing, or would he want us to be waging a war on poverty?

I spend my days trying to network into a full-time job, watching old movies and the Weather Channel, reading old MLK speeches, typing up feelings, and napping. What has happened to King’s revolution while we’re sleeping? Did King die in vain? Is his dream becoming my nightmare?

Read this and make up your own mind.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment or email your comments to