Martin Luther King: The Mighty River
Updated: Jan 13
Freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor.
Dr. King: Yes, Ann, I appreciate the space here to connect with those of you who see darkness falling with no reprieve in sight. I understand. The forces of oppression are great.
Their castle on the hill was threatened by the first black president and those who followed his invasion of “their” rightful home. That threat released a backlash culminating in the current revival on the national stage of the white supremist movement that we are seeing now. Professor Einstein will tell you that, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We are in the midst of the culmination of that reaction now.
But this is not the 1930’s when Jim Crow ruled supreme with little to no challenge. Our brothers and sisters have moved out from the shelter of their homes and offices and farms and reservations and are no longer in darkness. The techniques of intimidation are no longer carried out under cover of night with white sheets and torture and murder. We are privileged to see our dark underbelly come into the light.
No, it does not feel like privilege. It is terrifying to think that our government can once again be overtaken by the reactionary forces of hate and division. But what is not widely recognized is that these the forces were already here, flowing strongly underground. They had heretofore been able to achieve their victories behind the scenes, anonymously, and then they stood before the world mouthing the platitudes of an equal opportunity society.
It is different now. No form of darkness will be able to overcome the power of the light that has shown so brightly on the evil that has been uncovered within our government - treasonous forces that seek to reapply the oppressive techniques of the past.
And we are talking about the past in our country, not some nameless third world nation state. We are a third world country in the many ways that we have kept our black and brown brothers and sisters tied metaphorically to the plough. They are allowed to power the engine but not direct its course.
All that changed dramatically with our first black president with his high level appointees taking brilliant people of color to the highest and most visible positions in the nation. And now we see the mirror image of that administration trying to take back the country.
It is not surprising but it will not serve. There is too much light for even the enablers in the Congress to be able to support their troops on the public stage. They are now asked to walk the fine line between overt patriotism and closet racism that relies upon oppression for its success, particularly now when persuasion has failed them. It will not serve.
The river of justice is rolling down the mountain into the valley. There will be no gainsaying its power and righteousness when it washes away the rubble which those who saw not its mighty purpose had hoped to install as a shining city on the hill.
Rubble is not gold, my friends. The time is long past when that hat trick was credible. We are called upon to let that river roll on until its cleansing power allows all to drink from the clean and rippling streams that will derive from its current.
There will always be pockets of darkness in our society. We are human beings, and humans have been given the free will to choose their own destruction. There will always be those who choose darkness in the mistaken idea that power will save their souls. But do not be concerned. These little pockets of misery serve to remind us why we follow the Lord our God in kindness and humility, knowing that we too could become prey to such wrongheaded thinking.
Fix your eyes on the mighty river. Let it roll past and sweep all before it so that in peace we can all of us settle in the valley where the color of our skin in no longer recognized except as one of the many distinguishing gifts our Creator gave to the planet He designed in all its astonishing beauty and variety.
Stay steady and flow with the river. It will lift you up and carry you to your appointed place in God’s creation if you will give in to its flow.
Watch and see miracles in process. Even some of those who were the defenders of the dark will have their eyes opened and will help to shepherd the Lord’s flock to a place of peace where the lion will lie down with the lamb.
Don’t be surprised when you see it happen.
January 12, 2021