Eleven thousand five hundred twenty minutes so great
How do you measure a Memphis service spring break?
In van rides? In BBQ ribs?
In nails pounded in a roof?
What’s that Hannah?
“What about loveeeeee?”
Sounds good to me. The work week is over but our journey included just a few more memories on this last Saturday. Speaking of love, one of those memories included the National Civil Rights Museum in down town Memphis, which stands in place of the old Lorraine Motel, the site where MLK was shot.
However, before heading to the museum we set off for lunch. Despite hearing no complaints about the cooking in Tennessee this week, the group decided to cross the border and try some Mississippi cuisine. After filling up on sub sandwiches and burgers we then headed to the museum, a place that is a living testament to the strength of the spirit of love.
The museum took us from the beginning of slavery in America through the civil rights movement. It was sobering hearing and seeing the accounts of abuse and injustice that have littered this countries’ history. The city of Memphis is nearly 65% African-American (slightly more than Upland), and we learned how in it’s not-so-distant past even its most decorated street, Beale Street, ran red by the hand of racial injustice. The repercussions of these events are still evident today. However, the museum does not leave you with a sour taste in your mouth, even if it leaves you with a heavy heart. The end of the exhibit is MLK’s mountaintop speech, his final speech, which he delivered right here in Memphis. He concludes the speech with a couple very powerful lines: But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land… Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!
Even though we all learned about it in school, the museum served as a powerful reminder of how MLK preached love in order to, literally, change the world. Without him and all the other incredible people involved in the civil rights movement there is no way we could have had the amazing opportunity to go and fix Mr. John and Ms. Janet’s roof this week.
After leaving the museum we stopped for dinner at Memphis’ oldest diner. We have been blessed with some good eats this week, but this restaurant could only be paralleled by the food from Mr. John’s grill. It was a grand finally.
Last, but not least, the group headed across the Mississippi River on a footbridge to lay claim on the state of Arkansas. After breathing in that sweet Razorback air we headed back to SOS for our final night’s rest.
Tomorrow will start bright and early as we depart from volunteering in the Volunteer state and head on home. I think Kevin (Slims) said it best when he said, “I’m really going to miss the trip.” Me too Kev, me too.