Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day ~ Montgomery ~ Roll Tide Roll

I enjoy holidays thrown in the middle of a work month.  I am quite thankful.  But you know the reason for this holiday thrown in the middle of January has fairly far reaching implications.

I can remember when Kerry & I were just married and moved to Pittsburg, Texas.  In Pittsburg in 1986 one could still see evidence of an earlier world.  The back door and alley entrances to the downtown businesses were still operational.

Living in Graham, Texas doesn’t bring race issues to the mind.  It’s a quiet Texas town with little racial confrontations.  I am not so naïve to think that we don’t have concerns but they are certainly not open and I know our family has never been targeted for having friends of many colors.

That all changed when Son one moved to Montgomery, Alabama.

When Kerry and I visited Montgomery for the first time together we drove downtown – in a small area is the Bus Boycott Memorial, the slave trade corner, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, and the state capital of Alabama. 

I was amazed at the history that happened in such a small area.  I wonder just how tired Rosa Parks was that day – I wonder how much of a financial impact a 381 day bus boycott cost the city of Montgomery – I wonder how many people pledged to follow Jesus and were baptized in that church?

And I know that Montgomery still has the past as a part of their daily lives.  I know we are thankful that we don’t live in turbulent times such as in 1955 when Rosa Parks sat in the wrong place, in 1963 when Governor Wallace stood in the doorway on the campus of the University of Alabama, or in the 60s and 70s when peaceful demonstrations weren’t always a definition of peace.

However we now live in a hidden agenda of discrimination.  Both blacks and whites have gotten creative in their quest to prove their feelings of superiority.  Both groups have forgotten:

We cannot walk alone.  And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.  We cannot turn back.  ~ MLK excerpt from the famous I Have a Dream speech.

I certainly cannot prove in a courtroom that Son one was treated differently because of his choice of friends.  There were several coincidental moments that happened that caused me to wonder.  There were black students who were given consequences that were harsh and non forgiving.  And perhaps the most troubling were the consequences that forced young Christians to leave a university – to leave a place where learning about God’s grace should have been paramount.

The boys with Dooce - Dooce has an amazing voice - we have lost track of him but so wish I could hear him sing once again - he left Faulkner in the fall of 2010.

Doug Amos - our connection to the Roll Tide world - Doug graduated from the University of Alabama and is now the Sports Information Director at Faulkner.

Doug & Karla's daughter sitting in my lap after church. Isn't she beautiful? We had an immediate connection - she's adopted too!  

Trent & Adrian - Trent is a dear friend who now plays football at Troy University - Adrian now lives in Austin - he is from Garland!  Trent grew up in Tuscaloosa - another connection to the University of Alabama.

Son one celebrated his 20th birthday in Alabama - LOVE the cake - what a great memory!

So I believe that while we have certainly progressed – there’s still much to be accomplished.  We must march ahead.  We must do as Peter recorded in I Peter 4:8.

Above all ,love each other deeply…

Notice the shirt? Did you watch the National Championship Game?  I thought Alabama was just amazing - I know LSU had a great team but Bama just came with a fierce determination that was unstoppable.  I would have liked to have been in Tuscaloosa that evening - I can just see the smiles on their faces - the hope they clung to after a spring of 2011 and the tornadoes that changed their lives for a lifetime. 
There's part of my heart that will always be in Alabama.  

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8.  ... Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. I Peter 3:8.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

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