It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Quite honestly, I never thought much about this day. It is a government holiday, but I can't remember if we ever had the day off of school. This year, I do have the day off of work.
I will spend it shopping.
One thing I always remember this time of year, is my friend Richie. The first time our college let us have MLK day off, Richie went to a freedom demonstration in downtown KC. I went shopping.
Richie took the day, the day that honors a man who fought for freedom and equality, to remember and appreciate the rights he had been given.
I took the day to buy new clothes.
Richie, like Mr. Curly, was studying to be a pastor. He had such a passion to reach those lost that are generally ignored. He would take Gideon Bibles to downtown KC, strike up a conversation with a drunk, or someone homeless, and end by handing them a Bible.
There was nothing self-righteous in what he did. He never boasted of it. He NEVER started the conversation merely to hand the person a Bible. He honestly, truly cared and wanted to know that person's problems and life story. He knew they needed love, like we all do.
Richie is gone now. It's been about 7.5 years since he was killed by a drunk driver, and I know that he is still missed dearly by all that knew him.
While his death was nowhere near MLK day, I think of him every year on this day, and his passion for those most of us do not see.
And while, yes, I will spend MLK day shopping, I hope also to see someone who is overlooked and offer them love that day.
Title post quote attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.