Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, reminding us that 85 years ago MLK was born and 45 years ago he was gunned down while standing on a balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.
On Monday of this week a retired police officer shot and killed a man at a Wesley Chapel, Florida theater because he had used his phone to text his daughter during the previews of the movie, “Lone Survivor.” Even to the casual observer, America is a victim of the virus of violence. This virus, like a sexually transmitted disease, lies dormant and then flares-up with a throbbing sense of urgency. We are shocked it has again happened. We knew it would but somehow it surprises us.
As King said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” While I stutter in knowing exactly what to do, I do know with certainty that we, “the salt of the earth and the light of the world,” must never despair.
As we grieve for the family of the man who died, Chad Oulson, a Navy veteran, we should also pray for the retired police officer, Curtis Reeves, who perpetrated this evil. It would also behoove us to always remember the words of the Bible, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
We might also remember the words of the civil rights leader himself: “The time is always right to do what is right.”