This week, I Held My Black Son and Cried…

I wasn’t expecting to experience what happened on this week. I have a very inquisitive 3-year-old son who, surprisingly, is very interested in what is going on in the world. He doesn’t want to miss out on anything. We were reviewing who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was and how the day we celebrate his life and legacy is coming up. He asked what happened to him and I shared that he was assassinated. Of course, he then wanted to know what assassinated meant. After a series of more questions about how the assassination happened, who did it and why…he compelled me to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hesitantly told him there was no need to pray for him because he was already dead. He continued to insist, so I obliged. As the words began to escape his heart, it certainly landed on mine. He began to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the man who assassinated him. He also began to pray for the men who attacked the Capitol and that they would stop shooting and hurting people. He prayed they would love like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And he sealed his prayer by asking God to let all people in the world love Him.

His prayer was earnest. His prayer was confident. He was not anxious, worried, or seemed distressed. He honestly prayed for a better world with no doubt God couldn’t make it happen.

With tears in my eyes, I picked him up, hugged him, and cried. Through my tears, I began to grieve having a black son in this country and in this world. I felt inadequate in protecting him from the evil he prayed so earnestly against. I also felt hope. I also felt encouraged. And best of all, I was empowered by my 3-year-old to not only continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr….but continue the fight to make his DREAM come true. It was evident, my 3-year-old did not consider it a dream, but prayed it into existence.

My hope is that we all intentionally celebrate unity in the midst of division, peace in the midst of chaos, and hope in the midst of uncertainty.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day,

Dr. TC