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Dwelling together in unity, compassion

by CAROL SHIRK KNAPP Contributing Writer
| January 18, 2023 1:00 AM

It's an overcast Martin Luther King Jr. Day as I write and I'm reflecting on last week's thought regarding the freedom to be and do in the family. How both are optimum for growing into our “best selves.” Not a free-fall or a free-for-all. Freedom that stops at nothing goes by another name — enslavement.

I read in Psalm 133 this morning, “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard …”

It feels good just to read these words. There's something about getting along that does drip like “precious oil.” Emotions run rich and smooth. No clogs. No grinding.

Being white, I cannot comprehend not being allowed to be and do based on skin color. Or that unity with other human beings would be roadblocked at birth. We have a Black daughter-in-law and three “mixed” grands. I dislike that word “mixed.” They are anything but mixed up.

I haven't talked with them about their Black heritage. I need to be finding out what they know and don't know. What their parents have said.

I wish they never had to learn how Black "be and do" has been devastated, demolished and demonized. All the centuries of promising unity, not even allowed a first breath. And the haughtiness and hate that is still not over with some people.

It seems smug to say, “It is so much better now.” There should never have been a reason for that “better“ divide.

I rejoice to know our grands have a be and do they would not have known in the past. That the “precious oil” of unity flows for them more freely.

But I am also steeped in sadness that Martin Luther King Jr. experienced a life that demanded he protest — and that, in embracing that demand, he died.

His is a be and do that those who tried could not take from him. He turned it around. He gave who he was and what he could do for the generations to come. I am one grateful grandmother.

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