As I walked around the King Center in Atlanta, GA taking in the sights and sounds of the inspiring exhibits, I came across a powerful picture of the civil rights ambassador. There were commanding pictures of Dr. King marching, preaching, and even behind bars. Yet the photo that stopped me was actually a small picture of Dr. King and his family.
Mom, Coretta Scott King, and dad, Martin, are pushing their little baby Yolanda in a stroller down a summer street in the south. I realize that a part of the reason this struck me was because this image reminded me of my own family. We enjoy many walks around the neighborhood with our little guy. I made another, certainly more personal, connection with the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This man, pastor, and leader in justice, has always been a man I looked up to, yet this was a photo of him I had never seen before.
It was a reminder to me that the great influential spiritual leaders of our time are still normal people. Dr. King did extraordinary things in responding to God’s call on his life, but he was also a husband and a father. He had more ordinary
moments then extraordinary ones, I’m sure. Yet, aren’t they all extraordinary?
Raising a child, being a husband, preaching the Gospel, making powerful speeches that changed the spiritual and moral course of a nation; all of those things are extraordinary. All of life is a gift of God for each of us. Holy moments can be found in every part of life.
In the church, we too often relegate the sacred and spiritual to the things that happen on Sunday morning or the stuff that the “ordained” do. Yet, when we begin to look at all of life as sacred and spiritual, then our view of God and life begin to evolve.
Certainly what we do together on a Sunday morning is sacred and spiritual, but so is what we do on Sunday afternoon with our families. A Bible Study or service project is definitely spiritual, but so is taking time the time to catch up with a friend. The things we keep within the safe confines of our church can be holy, but so can a simple walk with your child and spouse down the street on a sunny afternoon.
That simple photo that I came across that day at the King Center reminded me that all of life is sacred, spiritual, and extraordinary. Even though we don’t often lift up this side of our spiritual and church “heroes” like the one I saw in this photo, it’s a reminder that we’re all extraordinary, we’re all called, and our whole life is sacred. We just have to look at life differently and remind ourselves to seek the presence of the God who is always near, whether we’re in church, serving at the food pantry, or simply walking with your family.