Friday, September 29, 2006

Kitchen table witness

This morning, I sat around the table with a phenomenal group of students who are speaking together with Pastor Ray Legania about African Descent Spirituality and we tuned in to the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He spoke of an instance in the beginning of the movement when he was awakened by a threatening and abusive phone call, one of many he received. But on this night, however, Martin had had enough. Here's how Coretta tells the story:

After the call, he got up from bed and made himself some coffee. He began to worry about his family, and all of the burdens that came with our movement weighed heavily on his soul. With his head in his hands, Martin bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud to God: "Lord, I am taking a stand for what I believe is right. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can't face it alone.
Later he told me, "At that moment, I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced before. It seemed as though I could hear a voice saying: 'Stand up for righteousness; stand up for truth; and God will be at our side forever.'" When Martin stood up from the table, he was imbued with a new sense of confidence, and he was ready to face anything.

--Coretta Scott King from "Standing in the Need of Prayer" as published by The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.

I am struck by Rev. King's immense courage but in this moment, even that was stripped away. "I have nothing left," he cried. And in that moment of desperation, God spoke. How did God speak to Martin? I don't know for sure but the point is -
God is still speaking.

God speaks audibly, God speaks through the Spirit. God speaks through ten friends telling us the same thing. Sometimes, God speaks in the stillness with only a whisper. Sometimes, it's as if God is silent but maybe that's because we're in process, held in the palm of God's hand. God is still speaking.

Where is God calling you? When you're at your kitchen table, surrounded by loved ones with a feast or sitting alone at midnight with nothing left, God is there. God is still speaking.

Listening with you,
Pastor Joy

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