For so long, he’s been hailed a martyr. But now the tide is turning. Now he’s being called different names. The man who once cried out that he had a dream is now being mocked as someone unworthy of his own race. He’s now being judged by those who once called him one of their own. Many now want to destroy his legacy. Everything he stood for is at risk of falling by the wayside. All because those who have come behind him believe in an ideology that’s in total opposition to all he worked for. Oh. How the tables have turned.
Rumors of behaviors unbecoming of a family man have been spoken of him since his untimely demise many years ago. Those accusations, whether true or false, taint the legacy of a man who worked long and hard for liberty and equality for all mankind, regardless of the color of their skin. He dreamed of a land where his children could walk and live freely the same as any other child. He dreamed of a country that treated all skin colors equally. For he witnessed a separation and segregation of a people whose skin color was darker than acceptable to so many born of a lighter pigment. And he stood against it. Even as the higher powers that be were planning for his demise, he stood for his beliefs. And on one fateful day, a single bullet penetrated his body ultimately ending his life.
Other reports are now circulating that he stood for unseemly ideologies that have become popular today. Whether the reports are true or not have yet to been determined. But this man, same as anyone else, was far from perfect. Perhaps the truth of this man’s achievements and failures may never be fully known, aside from God who knows everything.
A newly minted statue memorializing the man was recently dedicated. But family members are calling the statue hideous. Unsightly. Dishonorable. Distasteful. They are not pleased with the rendition that someone was paid many millions of dollars to create. And thousands upon thousands of pages of secret files against him by those in top government positions have been uncovered. Many other pages are still being held under wraps. Some are afraid for the truth to come to light.
What was it about this man that would cause many to applaud, and yet others to tremble in fear? What was it about him? Was it only because of the color of his skin? Or, were there hidden truths that, if made public, could sway the course of history? How could it be? Will we ever know? Are we better off not knowing?
While this man wasn’t perfect, by any means, he led a movement that started a revolution. He planned and participated in peaceful protests that rallied against the discrimination of his people. Even after multiple arrests, he still stood for the same message of equality. His message never wavered or lessened. He stood courageously for the good of his race.
One wonders if there will come a day when this man’s statues will be knocked down and shoved into a corner, as so many others have in recent years. Has his time come and gone? Has this man now been deemed to be on the wrong side of history? Is it inappropriate to publicly acknowledge his contribution to society? Only time will tell.
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10:34-35
There are people who are trying to taint his legacy, but truth always stands. Even when others make false claims or bring one’s faults to the light of day, God uses willing, imperfect people of all types. This man may have been involved in sketchy activities in his day, but he also did some great works that are still applauded. His efforts should not be forgotten.
I wonder. This man who pushed for peaceful protests against injustice paved the way for the rest of us. What peaceful acts are we involved in that would cause the world to sit up and take notice? Do we dare to stand up and fight for religious freedom when there are those who would remove Christianity from the face of the earth? When other Christians speak for truth in public settings, do we stand with them? Or. Are we too afraid to be noticed, so we stay silent? Do we share the message of forgiveness and salvation freely to those who need to hear it?
If each of our lives were publicly examined, how many of us would be humiliated as we stood in the public square? How many of our noteworthy acts and words would be cast off, because of our hidden behaviors? No one is perfect. No. Not one of us. We all could be the next one on the chopping block if only our private thoughts were read aloud.
So. Why are we so quick to cancel others because of a word spoken in anger or misjudgment? Who of us would be worthy of even one statue in our honor? What accomplishments have been noted for us that will be remembered in future generations?
The good news in the matter is that we serve a God of redemption. He will forgive all our sins and never remember them again. He won’t remind us of our moral failures or indecent thoughts. He won’t remember the name calling or lies or murderous looks we’ve given. When he forgives our sins, he forgets them. He doesn’t hold our previous wrongs over our heads. Our slate is wiped clean in the eyes of God. Oh. He won’t build a statue in our honor, but he will prepare a place for us in heaven so we can be with him for eternity.