This is the first blog in a five-week series celebrating FCA’s YouVersion plan Still Pursuing the Dream, a celebration and reminder of the messages, guidance and godly wisdom Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relentlessly pursued in his dream of standing for racial equality, love and justice for all. Be empowered to remember his legacy and live out biblical truth as Christian coaches and athletes.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” -- Matthew 5:43-44 NLT
The definition of pursue means to follow after. When I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, I think of a black man that followed after pursuing love despite experiencing discrimination and racism. His ministry was the ministry of loving your enemies.
He saw people created in the image of God, and because of that, he fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves--for all that have been oppressed in some way. Most of the sermons he preached echoed love for enemies. Not only did he preach and teach about this, but he prayed about loving his enemies.
I believe it was the prayers that sustained him and his faith in Christ that inspired him to do what he did. What I love most about Dr. King was he did it by pursuing love day in and day out. It was a daily choice. It wasn’t a quick fix. It’s still not a quick fix. This is why we remember his legacy. He did it in a nonviolent way. He not only talked about it, but he demonstrated it by walking with the people, organizing and mobilizing leaders in love that reflected all colors and nationalities. He did it in the love of Christ. This love sees color and is moved to compassion. It's moved to say, I hear you. I empathize with you. I love you. How can I help you? It’s not quick to judge or assume. It leans in, with love, and communicates, ‘I know we are different in our skin color, gender, even in our faith, but where can we meet in the middle?’
This past season in the WNBA when George Floyd was tragically killed, I saw Dr. King’s dream come to life. I saw his legacy lived out. I saw the goodness of God in the lives of coaches and athletes when people of all nationalities and ethnicities came together, organized in love, and advocated for men of color. They showed that even though we’re different and our circumstances are different, your pain is real and I feel it. I think of Christ Who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for those that He loves. He loves each of us, and when injustice and pain are inflicted on His people, He hurts with us.
I believe it is the heart of Christ to pursue love and compassion to those in need of it most. Aren’t we all? I leave you with the words of Dr. King:
“Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.”
By Manny Maldonado
Manny was born and raised in the Jacob Riis Housing Projects in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. His nationality is of Puerto Rican descent. He’s currently serving as the Metro Director for FCA in New York City. He’s passionate about Jesus, Sports, and New York City. He’s happily married to Drusilla, his wife of 20 years, and loves their three handsome boys Manny, Roman, and Levi.
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Still Pursuing the Dream