Post by Faith Reboot’s Tanisha Henderson
When you hear the name Martin Luther King, Jr., what pops in your head? The “I Have a Dream” speech? The infidelity rumors? The Civil Rights Movement? A pushover? A trouble maker? A sell out? An American hero?
The opinions of this man run to extremes. He was not perfect, there is only one Man who is.
When I think of Martin Luther King, Jr., I always pause long to ponder how he balanced the opinions of others with his unshakeable drive to get fair treatment for blacks while knowing the truth of the imperfect person he was. Surely, like me, the skeletons in his closet haunted him at times. Yet, he persevered by doing what God had called him to do in spite of his wrongs, in the light and confidence of his new identity.
MLK’s drive was fueled by his love for others. His children. His people. His nation. His God. What did he do when he got weary? Did he get weary? Surely he must have. And then I learned that when he would find himself low, overwhelmed, and depleted, he would call up Mahalia Jackson and have her sing to him. I can imagine him reclining in his chair and letting the soothing sounds of her mellow melodies lift his spirits to the place where he no longer focused on himself but refocused on the end of what he was chosen to accomplish.
Selfless, yet flawed. And aren’t we all?
Learning To Embrace My Woman At The Well Experience
Martin Luther King had two favorite songs that he requested of Mahalia. The Old Rugged Cross. Understandably. And Jesus Met the Woman at the Well. Not so obvious. Or is it?
Here are the lyrics:
Jesus met the woman at the well, (x3) And He told her everything she’d ever done. He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?” (x3) And she said, “Lord I have none.” He said, “Woman, woman, you have five husbands” (x3) “But the one you have now, he’s not your own.” She went running, running, running to the city (x3) And she told them, “Found me a man, told me everything I’ve done.”
I don’t know why this was a favorite of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Plan to ask him someday in Heaven.)I can tell you what this song says to me. It speaks to me concerning my desire to be deeply known for all of my wrongs without being deeply judged or deeply pitied. That need is only met and fully satisfied in Jesus. He took my judgment and my shame, so I could stand before God acquitted and esteemed. And when I go to God, I need to be more like the woman at the well.
John 4:7-8 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.
I need to be pleasantly surprised when Jesus commands me to serve Him. It is always an honor. I am still learning to see it as a pleasure. I am not selfless. Flawed, indeed.
John 4:20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
Like the woman at the well, I need to ask God to clarify for me the spiritual questions that cause me to doubt. He is always willing to answer. I am still learning to wait on His timing for a response.
John 4:27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”
Like the woman at the well, I need to not be ashamed when people find out I have been talking with Jesus. He calls me friend. I am still learning to not be prideful about being eternally welcomed at a seat of honor in His kingdom.
John 4:28-29 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”
Like the woman at the well, I need to run to tell others about a man who knows ALL the things I have done. I know my sins well. I am still learning to be comfortable with everybody else knowing the depths of what Jesus has forgiven me of.
Wearing My Birthday Suit Before God and Others
The day I was reborn is my best birthday ever. There is great comfort in being found by a Man who is aware of everything that I have done. Not only does He know all of my transgressions, but he willingly died for my badness to prove His committed love and goodwill toward me. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., like the woman at the well, I need to be comforted and uplifted by the truth that Jesus knows all the ugly, evil things that I have done and thought. Because of His omnipotence, I can be comfortable being fully naked before Him and know that He will not turn away in shock or disgust.
Thanks be to Jesus that if ever the day comes where my God chooses to command me to publicly air my once-filthy laundry, I hope and pray that God will use it to allow even just one person to respond with the words, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”