Lightning crawled across the sky. The thunder roared. Rain warned of impending flood. Through the cleansing drama of it all, Jackson remained as dirty as ever. Filled with the secrets of past transgressions, you never know what filthy hate might resurrect next. Even in the midst of the blight, one can find beauty if they are willing to work for it. Echoes of the woman caught in adultery filled my ears. Jesus got down in the dirt to save her. Without the dirt, there would be no salvation for the oppressed or the oppressor. Jesus toils in the dirt to bring about the salvation of others. Rev. Ed King functions similarly.
Walking through the rain and into the restaurant, my eyes immediately went to his jaw. The scaring and disfiguration is a visual reminder of his sacrifice. In what he refers to as an assassination attempt, Rev. King was permanently disfigured when his car was rammed over 50 years ago. When we sat down, I situated the kids with a show on my phone and started to tell Christian about my friend. From describing Rev. King’s presence and role in Montgomery to the Freedom Rides to Jackson to Freedom Summer to numerous Democratic National Conventions to a wild and vast assortment of other social justice battles, I went on and on. After I finished, Christian asked, “What made you leave your comfort and do all of this?” Without delay and in his slow deep drawl, Rev. King answered, “I just tried to be a Christian.”