His words at his last speech before his death were prophetic and chilling:
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
We want to think that, if we are good people, good things will happen to us, that somehow God will reward our goodness.
Wrong. Look at Jesus, look at Martin.
Do good things and people will most certainly despise you and you may be cut down in the prime of your life, slain in the most horrible way.
The lesson of the assassinations of Jesus and Dr. King is the same: the killing did not matter. Just because their bodies were stopped doesn't mean they stopped. They knew they were greater than death, as we all can be if only we have the heart, the courage.
The influence of the truly righteous continues after they die and it keeps getting stronger because goodness and truth are contagious.
This is a sad and hurting world and it needs all of us to work to make it better. We are a team and if we don't all help each other, no one wins.
I try to remember that everyone I meet is on my team. The mother struggling with the stroller and a heavy door is my teammate. The sad cashier at the grocery store is playing, too. The angry neighbor, the rookie cop - I may not like them, but these are the people who have showed up to the game today, and I have to make adjustments to accommodate them. When I help them, we score. If I refuse to help them, no one scores.
I don't have a big dream like Dr. King. I just want to be welcoming and to be kind and then to take it from there. I figure that is a good place to start.
And here's a little song...