Margit’s Note: The Martin Mixtape
As a kid, I used to get Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr.’s names mixed up. Actually, I imagined one was the other one’s father. That the “King” one was the Dad. Blame it on growing up Lutheran and the fact that both names shared substantial storylines in my six-year-old head.
Ironically, and somewhat unintentionally, I spent some time with both Martins over the last two days — watching MLK videos and reading from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and visiting the awesome Morgan Library where they’ve got a great exhibit on the elder Luther, a priest who defied many of the teachings of the Catholic Church by pinning Ninety-Five Theses (his rebuttal) to church doors, jump-starting the Protestant reformation 500 years ago. Even though I’m not religious, it was a thrill to see one of the old documents in real life — it’s like a bit of social media pioneering before there was social media and one of the first uses of the printing press. For anyone who works with words, it’s a powerful piece of history.
Both Martins were ministers, activists and leaders that had a huge impact on the world we know. Despite multiple arrests and demonization as “rabble-rousers,” both remained doggedly determined to share their message. They had faith, and they knew that faith wasn’t about just sitting around hoping; faith is very much about action. MLK Jr. has one of the best quotes about faith ever: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
I feel that way about the Women’s March on Washington (and nationwide) this Saturday. While we don’t know what the future will hold, where the next four years will take us, we need to take that first step to stand up for what’s right — and call out what’s wrong. (Plus, it’s better than sitting around and freaking out on a daily basis every time a new text alert hits our phone, i.e. “CNN: Trump now dismantling life as we know it.”)
For a final bit of hope, there’s this little girl: four-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana, a reading prodigy, who will absolutely give you faith in the future.
This week, we ponder faith of all kinds:
- Nancy Davis Kho has a chuckle with God
- Karen Gerwin finds tradition in the Mazel Tov “Slap”
- Monica Dennis finds a new religion in midlife
- Amy Barr believes in her nanny
- An anonymous author keeps her Muslim practice to herself
- Renee Dale recalls her faith in boys, books and wallpaper
Forever Yours…Faithfully (couldn’t help it),
Love your essay.
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