Last night our family had a little celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and all he did for Americans of color, and consequently for all Americans. Because our children are so young, we decided to read them a children's book about King's life entitled "Martin's Big Words" by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier. It is beautifully illustrated and so perfect for small children mixing the story of his life with many of his own words.
As soon as I opened my mouth to start our lesson, I started crying, and I cried throughout; Kent had to read the book to the children because I was too emotional. How can I put into words how much the Civil Rights Movement has affected me personally and our family? How can I not shed tears thinking of my children being treated as unworthy and less-than? How do I explain to my little ones that the pure love they have for each other is so uncommon and unknown in much of the world? Maija said it best, "Mommy, thinking of this makes my heart sad. I don't think skin matters except to hold in the insides of our bodies." Couldn't have put it better myself.
Even Kent shed a few tears when he read the following while reading Martin Luther King's own words:
"I have a dream that one day ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."
At least that part of his dream has been fulfilled in a very real way right here in the walls of our home. If only we could all see each other's insides (metaphorically speaking) and be able to love one another truly as brothers and sisters. If only we could see men's hearts as our savior, Jesus Christ, does and truly judge not "by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."