Monday, January 16, 2012


I live in a city where today holds great significance.  Martin Luther King, Jr. pastored a church on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery.  He became the champion of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an act of nonviolence that changed the course of history.

I also live in a state that celebrates another man's birthday on this day, General Robert E. Lee, a confederate soldier.  Both are recognized as state holidays.  And some residents of this state are very vocal that they celebrate Robert E. Lee day, NOT Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Oh, the joys of the deep south.

There has been much hope restored to this city that for so long lived racially divided.  It is a town rich in history, in triumph, and in pain.

As a family that now has an african american baby living with them, I am forever grateful for the courage and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His decision to speak words of freedom and justice did not come without pain and sorrow.  He sacrificed his comfort and a life of ease in order to speak for those that had no voice.

Today I feel the weight of that, because he spoke for the little boy that we hold in our arms.

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls 
will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” 
                                                                                                                -- MLK

Our city is not yet completely healed from the wounds of segregation.  The dream for all children to be given an equal education has not yet been fulfilled.

While blatant segregation may be gone, our diverse city has not embraced each other fully.  Yes, we are a city that, on the surface, acknowledges each other in passing.  But we don't have authentic community with each other.

The best way to tell? Our churches.  While I am thankful to say that our church has families of all races, worshipping together, we are still far from where we need to be based on the demographic population around us.

Brian and I have had many conversations about raising a child of african american or african descent in this city.  Frankly, it scares me at times.  Not for how we will be treated, but for what our child will face.

Everyone loves a baby and toddler, with chubby cheeks and sweet coos and giggles, no matter their color.  But what happens when that child grows into a teenager and asks your white daughter to prom?

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls 
will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” 

Thank you, Dr. King, for your dream.

It's become my dream too.  And though I am, at times, anxious about what the future holds-- I know that this dream is taking shape, because I see it happening in the families and churches in our city.

Things are not healed in our city.

But they are healing.

Reconciliation is coming.

Through foster care.

Through adoption.

Through our churches that are beginning to welcome EVERYONE who walks through their door, no matter their color or their place in society.

Through ministries where we are serving TOGETHER to care for poor.

Thank you, Dr. King, for your voice and your willingness to speak for those that couldn't.  Your former city is not healed yet.  But we're getting there.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Leslie. I feel like, in many ways, we are in the same boat, and while we will fight some of the same battles with you (as a transracial family), there is a difference. I have the comfort of being surrounded by MANY families just like ours, a church, and even a community that is beginning to see us as something close to "normal". And even though you're just a city away, you guys are kinda on the front lines. I praise God for the courage He has placed in y'all. He has brought you to just the right city, church, and neighborhood, in His perfect timing, for His purpose and His glory! I am praying for you, and look forward to chatting face to face very soon. Love.