Fifty-one years and one day ago Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. On that day, Robert Kennedy was in Indianapolis for a presidential campaign rally.
But instead of campaigning, Kennedy announced the death of King.
His speech was improvised, empathetic, and — despite the darkness of that day — hopeful.
When I watch this clip with my understanding of history, I remember that two months and two days later, Bobby Kennedy would also be shot and killed. An ache swells in my chest to think about it.
But then I need to take a breath and try to watch it the way Mary Evans did on that night fifty-one years and one day ago. She was 16 years old at the time and recently shared her story. It’s a good one. Click here to read it.
The author of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Upheaval, violence, hatred, and turmoil are not even close to novelties.
But hope is nothing new either.
And we have this hope; that all that is wrong will be made right. That love will overcome hate, light drive away darkness. That, even though we encounter all kinds of trouble here, we have the chance to follow One who has already overcome all of it.
Fifty-one years and one day later, let’s take the time, as Kennedy said, “…to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.”
Compassion, love, faith, and a willingness to listen. All of these fueled with hope. Hope that has outlasted the ages, that has persevered through hardship and war and drought. Hope that holds on in the wildest storms.
Hope that good will win out over bad just like it has so many times already.
There is nothing new under the sun.