It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MLK's Dream

There are various celebrations going on right now to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech now known as the "I Have A Dream" speech.  It was delivered on August 28, 1963 during a rally at the Lincoln Memorial (if I read the historical reports correctly that is where it began).  I was young, too young to really remember this event.  I do remember the civil rights movement and I know that it was not pretty.

I am friends at church with an older couple, both have PhD's and have had interesting careers.  Delightful people.  Several years ago the wife shared that they were at the "I Have A Dream" speech as young people.  She had the first page of a newspaper from the day and showed us in the grainy black and white photo about where they were in the crowd. She and her husband were just a few of the white people present that day.  She shared with us that although there was violence in the civil rights movement that on that day there was a remarkable feeling of peace in the crowd during that rally.  Even after all those years, she remembered it as being an overwhelming experience of hearing him speak of his dream for peace.  This morning she reminded us of the 50th anniversary marking this event and I remembered her story.

Peace, peace we think.  I have to ask what is peace?  How do you define it?  We think of it in broad terms, as in world peace.  But I think of it in individual terms.  Peace starts with each individual, being content and having happiness in their heart and then spreading that peace to others and into our world.  Think of peaceful people, don't they touch others in the same way?  Gently, loving, compassionately sharing their peace.

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson

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