The first step I will take on the last leg of this civil rights journey, will be to bathe my memories of a blood stained yesterday, with the hope and inspiration of today. I will seek to remove the stone from a tomb that holds the disfigured face of Emmet Till’s pubescent body; with the mature determined smile of a mother who has been called to preach a Gospel of resurrection . I will seek to rinse my thoughts of ” for colored only signs” with the gifts of my achievement that have been bequeathed to me from my ancestors. I will dress myself with garments accented with a slave’s sacrifice for my liberation. I will replace the sound of barking dogs and water bursting out of violent hoses, with the sweet sound of the lever that will return President Barack Obama to a White House that was built with the sweat and tears of African slaves. I will replace the memorized and taken for granted, lines of a dream that belonged to King, with his prophetic charge to answer the question, “where do we go from here? ”
My first step this morning will be to rise and wipe off the dust from the trails we have walked. My cleansed soles will lead me down the paths that need to be addressed today, instead of resting on the laurels of yesterday. I will wash away the foul odor of racism and look into the mirror of the “isms ” that are still reflected in our hearts and nation. I will adorn the hotel room I slept in, with a generous tip in recognition of my sister’s six day work week, at $8 an hour; to support herself and her children who expect to be clothed and fed. I will sit in the restaurant alongside brothers and sisters who represent the vibrant shades and cultures of God’s rainbow and I will thank the Creator for the freedom of being able to eat without discriminatory restriction. I will board the bus and greet our driver Mason Cole , as a Minister of our transportation and as a treasured co-journeyor on this ride. I will take my seat behind the one who was called to drive with a recognition that we all pay a price on our ride to freedom.
I will close my eyes and center myself on filtering my thoughts through the mind of God. The Creator of the universe does not hear what we see or see what we hear, the way we do. Through my spiritual eyes, I realize that the tears of the oppressed, are just as salty as those of the oppressors. Whenever our blood is shed , it causes the same red stain on the fabric of the seats we seek comfort from. When I take a look at the balcony that bears the pain of a King who speaks to us from the grave, I am called to acknowledge God’s plans and purpose for a mountaintop message of transformation. Every pain and loss we experience has a flip side of redemption.
The last leg of this journey will take us back to the airport in Memphis , where we started. As I patiently remove my IPod brain for inspection, while my bags are x-rayed and my body is pat down, I will be reminded that evil lurks beyond the South and our national borders. I will board a Delta plane that resembles a huge bird, with my divinely directed imagination . I imagine that God created me to soar like an eagle with the humility of a sparrow, to designated locations that have already been predestined for my personal flight. I have been called to to find the seat that has been assigned to me , buckle my seat belt, and close my eyes as my mind, body and spirit, ascends above the clouds. As we rise, I will join the smiles and the spirits of our ancestors who prepaid our flight with their sacrifices.