L ast week, my wife and I paid a visit to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. As a lifelong student of Dr. King, it was an awesome feeling to see and touch a place that was instrumental in the formation of the late twentieth century prophet. As a stood atop the double staircase of the sanctuary’s front elevation, I marveled at the beauty of the historic architecture and wondrous construction. I turned my face to the right and could see the Alabama State Capitol staring back at me. I took several moments to internalize the significance of this experience. Only a sovereign God could position the voice of justice to stand a stone’s throw from the nation’s goalkeeper of injustice. I allowed my mind to travel back in time to 1955 and 1956 to envision buses abandoned for car pools and walking shoes. I thought about houses that were bombed in the fight for equality. I cringed at the thought of the lives that had been “trampled under the iron foot of oppression”. Without a doubt, I felt privileged to be able to stand in a small place that turned the city of Montgomery, the state of Alabama and the conscience of America right side up.
Today, the conscience of this nation has again teetered. Right has been exchanged for wrong; brotherhood has been pawned for partisanship; righteousness has been abandoned for self-governing morality; hope has been cast down for pessimism. Notwithstanding, I remain encouraged that the truth of God will prevail over the lies of man. I remain persuaded that rising from the forgotten corners of Vine City, a branch of Zion will cry out for the voiceless, will lead for the blind, instruct for the unlearned and love those who are furthest out and deepest down. Just as the Alabama State Capitol stood as a towering bully of injustice over Dexter Avenue and the burgeoning dream of Dr. King, there is another monument of exclusion built with her back to the underserved. Who will cry out?
The joy of Black History Month does not rest in that which has already been accomplished, but rests in the assurance that if so much has been accomplished against insurmountable odds, there is nothing that cannot be achieved. Let us not be content with observing history. Let us be overtaken by the rushing current of being historic. Let us be courageous enough to see needs and compassionate enough to meet them. Let us be spiritual enough to love Christ and bold enough to share his love. Let us be revolutionary enough to live what we sing and preach and rebellious enough to reject that which is contrary. Let us develop a righteous indignation for hate, violence, injustice and bigotry on all levels. May we see that history is yet being written to the glory of God and redemption of man. Let us march on till victory is won!