Monday, January 20, 2020

Enjoying The Holiday

Civil rights leader Andrew Young (L) and others on balcony of Lorraine motel pointing in direction of assailant after assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is lying mortally wounded at their feet. Joseph Louw—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

"Hi ma'am. Are you enjoying your holiday?"

I stared at the Target check stand lady and my brain slowly sputtered into action.

Holiday? What is she talking about? Christmas is definitely over and Valentine's Day is a ways off.
Ohhhh. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Of course. 

My mouth stumbled into gear.

"Oh right! It is a holiday today. That explains why the store is so crazy crowded."

Our conversation veered into an analysis of today's traffic versus the usual Monday Target metrics and we never did get back to the subject of the actual holiday. But as I was pushing my cart full of groceries and household supplies through the parking lot, I revisited the topic.

And I wondered to myself what it might mean to enjoy this day. 

To consider the life of a good man, 

a man of peace
a man of justice
a man of courage and calm 
a man who had seen the promised land and told us that we would see it too.

A man who was shot down in cold blood on a balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, apparently because his passion for civil rights was too much for some people to handle.

Fifty-some-odd years later, we are still working on living into Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. 

We are still waiting for that promised land that Martin told us we would one day see.

We still have a long way to go.

And until we do, Target check stand lady, I don't think I can actually enjoy this holiday. But I am still dreaming of the day when I can.

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