Of all the many notable quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr., this has to be one of my favorites. Too often I become stymied in my attempts to make a difference in this world by the mindset that I have to manhandle (or, in my case, womanhandle) darkness and be a muscular, iron-jawed hate-bouncer. I’m just not that buff. When I think of pitting the powerful systemic evils in the world against my own minuscule strength, I feel weak and overwhelmed before I even begin to fight.
But Martin Luther King’s words, and his life, remind me that just showing up as light puts the darkness on notice. Just bringing the love I have with me wherever I go…loosing the power of love within in me whatever I do….THAT is enough to make hatred cower. It’s called the principle of displacement and it’s p o w e r f u l.
Jesus told us to be lights and His presence in us provides the wattage, no matter the depth of darkness. He told us to ‘love one another‘ and to ‘love our enemies.’ His heart in us provides that transformative capacity. So I’m going to stop worrying so much about my weakness against enormous evil. With Dr. King’s words ringing in my ears and the indwelling presence of Jesus putting steel in my spine, I’m gonna just keep showing up to shine…and to love.
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