Yesterday, the kids and I explored a book on Martin Luther King, Jr. in an attempt understanding the social injustices of that time period. We didn’t discuss slavery. We didn’t assess blame. We did discuss the isolation of a race in terms of education, social engagement, relationships, culture, and worship. We did postulate on the long-term effects on a person’s spirit when they are so discarded by humanity. There were so many questions… questions I couldn’t answer, but only discuss. Our older children kept inquiring how a government made of brilliant, elected officials, supposed to be the best representatives of the populous, and some even boasting to be (and undoubtedly were) God-fearing men could accept an idea that separate was in any way equal or that segregation represented modern, Christian thinkers. The conversation itself and the kids ability to express their thoughts impressed me.
Tiger, obviously a bit young for this thought pattern, sat and listened. He chimed in all of a sudden, “Two fountains? We are one family, but we would need two fountains if we lived in Mr. King’s time?” When I gently explained that before the integration we wouldn’t be allowed to be a trans-racial family, Tiger shook his head. “No mama. Not this family. Not just us. God’s family. Remember, one God, one, one spirit, one cross, one body, one family. How could we be one family of Jesus and need two fountains?”
That sweet boy. At five, he could see how social injustice undercuts our ability to represent the gospel that Jesus came to live. His words and thought patterns were more juvenile. He couldn’t wrap them in linguistic parades or rhetorical arguments, but he got it!
For this family, MLK Day is less about the man, Martin Luther King, and more about fighting for social justices around the world but not simply for the sake of social justice. It is for the sake of the gospel lived out in us testifying to the world of a love far greater than humanity will ever extend. I’m praying God will continue to soften hearts in all areas so there is no need for two fountain in the body of Christ.