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Lifeline This Week

Sat Jul 18 @09:00 - 11:30AM
Downtown Mobile Medical Clinic
Sun Jul 19 @05:00 - 08:00AM
Koinos Church
Tue Jul 21 @05:00 - 07:00AM
Mobile Clinic
Fri Jul 24 @09:30 - 11:30AM
Mobile Clinic
Sat Jul 25 @09:00 - 11:30AM
Downtown Mobile Medical Clinic

My Heart Is In Selma Today...

I’m spending the morning with Lyn and Lauren, and I will spend time with our little church and others through the course of this day. I love them all, and they comprise many of the most important people in my life. It is good and right to be with them.

 

But my heart is in Selma today.

 

For as long as I can remember I have cared about the issue of race. I came by this honestly. My father taught me to care deeply about this issue, and that teaching went deep into the core of who I am because of the ways he embodied his concern. One of the funny stories connected with this development in my life involves me giving a civil rights speech in my campaign to become 5th grade class president in my tiny school in a tiny all-white town in northern Michigan. I lost in a landslide.

 

I watched the speeches yesterday, delivered at the foot of The Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights. President Obama’s speech was brilliant and impassioned, and was very worthy of the occasion. I watched it on my phone in my car, and I wept quietly through much of it. I was inspired and proud as I listened.

 

But it was John Lewis whose voice thundered most. There were times I had a hard time understanding his words through his thick southern drawl, but I was mesmerized, captivated, enthralled, and often overcome with emotion as he spoke. His voice resonated with a character that cannot be practiced or developed over any length of time. It was the sound of moral authority.

 

His voice still echoed with the same determination and clarity of purpose that led him to march as the first among about 600 who risked being beaten and trampled on that day. And he was one for whom that risk became bloody reality. His voice stilled dripped with love and forgiveness for those who so violently opposed his cause and attempted to deny his humanity, and that of those he led on that day 50 years ago.

 

And that day was not his first such day; nor was it his last. And because of John Lewis and others with him and like him, we have come a significant distance in the cause of recognizing ourselves as one people. These were the last words of his speech, in fact: that though we are of different skin colors and ethnic backgrounds and faiths and more, we are one people.

 

Those words thundered into my heart, just as they must have thundered at the foot of that bridge yesterday. They thundered because they were spoken with real authority – the kind of authority only possessed by someone who has understood the power of redemptive suffering, and who has embodied it in harsh reality. Because of John Lewis and others like him and with him, the dream still lives and breathes. And one day, maybe – just maybe – we shall overcome.

 

My heart is in Selma today.