Witness 6/14

June 15th, 2012

Today in Memphis we were able to enjoy some soul Music (Stax Museum of American Soul Music), eat on Beale Street, and visit the National Civil Rights Museum which is located on the sight of the Lorraine motel where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. There we also were blessed to hear from Reverend Samual “Billie” Kyles. Reverend Kyles was there in the events leading up to and including the assassination. He spoke of how he has spoken to people from every walk of life about those events, on the spot where it occurred. People like Sandra Day O’Conner, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.  When someone in our group asked him if he had suffered from lingering effects after the assassination he told us he had for about 10 years. What pulled him out of it he said was the realization that crucifixions have to have witnesses. A lieing witness is dangerous and a witness who won’t share is of no consequence.  So he has found solace in serving as a witness to those events and times. (He made a video account called “Witness”). It made me think of Hebrews Chapter 12 which starts: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” We trully have been blessed to hear directly and very personally from a “great cloud of witnesses” to these events this week. There stories have bore witness not only to the facts of the events, but the human emotions, the struggles and the costs.  I feel that this day has placed my mind on a path of transition. How do I take these lessons, these testimonies, and turn them into real tangible actions? How to I act as a witness to the things I have seen and heard?

What a priviledge to hear from Reverend Kyles

The Lorraine Hotel. Site of the assassination of Dr King.

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