MLK and “How Friendly Is the Universe You Inhabit?”

Uncommon God, Common Good | 1/19/2019 | Staff
HelloimMe (Posted by) Level 3
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One might think Martin Luther King, Jr. would have viewed the universe as unfriendly. All one has to do is consider how much racial hatred he endured. And yet, King was convinced otherwise: “It is quite easy for me to think of the universe as basically friendly.” Why? He gives a few reasons: “Mainly because of my uplifting hereditary and environmental circumstances.” [1] This is not to say that King refused to acknowledge the extreme difficulties and opposition he and the African American community endured in their pursuit of freedom and his vision of the Beloved Community. He refused to allow negative experiences to distort his vision of God’s love and justice that will ultimately prevail. Nor did he permit a naive optimism to mask the present hard reality. In fact, as noted in a recent entry, King even struggled mightily with depression based on a variety of factors.

King’s struggle with depression, as documented in that prior blog post, should by no means reduce his significance and lessen our respect, but rather increase them in our eyes. Why? King faced great internal and external struggles, yet was resilient. His resilience was not fueled by a certain power-of-positive-thinking projectionism whereby he forced himself to believe happy thoughts about the universe being a friendly place. Rather, his perspective on life was grounded in a belief in the objective reality of a good and just universe centered in the God revealed in Jesus...
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