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A man of ordinary features
But extraordinary presence
I could see his silhouette traced upon
Abraham Lincoln’s memorial;
I watched this man of average height
Towering over the murmuring masses,
taller than anyone present there,
on the podium or in the crowd.

As I watched his gaze, I turned to look –
What did he see?  Could I see it too?
Washington’s Monument glittered before him,
But I saw only him, perfectly reflected,
A mirror-image of courage in the
reflecting pool.

But he was not looking there;
He was looking up and out;
He had fixed his gaze far beyond
What most of us could see.

Echoing, rebounding from
every direction, his voice, his passion
poured out, rippling the once-still
waters, stirring the crowd. Cry Freedom!
Declare your sacred liberty. Free at last!

He knew, he saw, what so few
Had yet perceived:  What had been denied,
Will be bestowed; what had been dreamed,
Will be realized.  He knew it.  He had seen
The Glory of the Lord and understood –
He did not need to wait for it to come,
He knew it was already with us;
Just one thing was needed:
Turn on the light.  Look up and out.
See for yourself.
Declare Freedom! Be free at last.

**********

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 83 years old yesterday.  His spirit is still calling out for us to turn on the light.  He was an ordinary man of extraordinary vision, purpose and presence.  He carried with him, always, enough. . .

(wc 254)

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