Today as I remember Martin Luther King Jr. I look to those who have lived a life hoping for a peaceful world. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, and many others. All of these people didn’t care about gender, the color of ones skin, or what religion they were; they only cared that everyone should be treated as a human being. Simple as that. Trying to bring about peace in heated situations is hard and takes work, but real peace does not look at religion, gender, race, or nations. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.” Being a peacemaker is not easy. You get shot, your death is over looked, and you are constantly criticized by those around you. You are attacked, and belittled, and threatened. So why do peacemakers continue to try? Why did Martin Luther King Jr. continue to speak about change and living side-by-side? My theory is that they all had hope for a better world. Hope that someday religion and race wouldn’t be an issue for people. There wouldn’t be war over land and who’s right and who’s wrong. Why does it really matter who’s right anyways?
I am a Mennonite. I have friends who are Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, African-American, Chinese, and Canadian. When I chose my friends I did not pick them because of what they believed or where they were from or the color of their skin. I picked them because they are good people, they treat others with respect, and drop everything to help me as I quickly try to heal a sprained ankle. I couldn’t have ask for better friends and I love each of them as they are, regardless of the labels society has given them.
After hurting my ankle pretty badly on Saturday while building the set I have had to constantly remind myself what I am thankful for and pray for things I cannot change. I am thankful for life. I am thankful for two feet. I am thankful for the welcoming community at Rainbow Mennonite Church. And most of all I am thankful for the people that surround me with love, hope, and joy. Sometimes all we can do is take a deep breath and pray. Pray for a better tomorrow and a safer world. Please pray for strength to better tomorrow, an open mind to listen to others, a big heart to love everyone, and a helping-hand to help those in need.
“Lord, listen to your children praying. Lord, send your spirit in this place. Lord, listen to your children praying. Send us love, send us power, send us grace.”
The walk for peace may be more of a limp right now but I will still trudge along, because there are people who need a helping hand. And a friend.