I suppose there is a line to be drawn from the Easter story to Dr King’s assassination in Memphis in 1968 to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a year ago.
Perhaps a learned theologian could articulate conclusions more clearly than me. Maybe a great philosopher could connect the dots in a way that would help everyone see the light.
I’m still working on it.
Last week I stood outside the Hennepin County Government Center at the start of the Derek Chauvin trial. It was mid-morning when I got there, and although there had been a vigil earlier in the day, things were quiet when I arrived. Just a couple dozen people with signs. Drivers honking their support as they passed by and media staged a block away waiting for a story to unfold.
This morning we joined friends at an outdoor Easter service in Oxford, Mississippi. I hadn’t been to a church service in more than a year, and even though we were in an unfamiliar congregation in a town that wasn’t our home, it was good to gather. At a distance. And celebrate with other people.
And when my phone alert reminded me that today was the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, it made sense to drive the hour to Memphis, to the Lorraine Motel where it happened. Just to stand in that sacred spot for a reflective moment.
I’m not comparing Jesus to MLK to George Floyd. That’s not the connection I want to make. But there’s a thread I’m pulling at that runs through these stories and it weaves through truth and power.
Power has trouble seeing the truth. Or saying the truth. Power protects itself. Power can justify outrageous acts as it defends the indefensible.
Even as the rest of the world can see the plain and simple truth, power will deny it.
These are slippery times. People will cloud the water and try to convince you it was never clear to begin with. You may question what you have always known to be true.
But your heart knows the truth. Listen to what it whispers in the quiet moments. Carefully cultivate the still places where it can even be heard.
We have been here before. Look with clear eyes. Listen with an open heart. Seek the truth. And when you find it, hold on like your soul depends on it.
Because it just might.