It was the night after his release from jail, when he was at home and the phone rang … '
"Nigger", said a threatening voice on the other end, "We are tired of you and your mess… and if you aren’t out of this town in three days, we’re going to blow your brains out and blow up your house."
Martin Luther King was very afraid… for himself, his wife and his little children. Shortly after that phone call, he sat at the kitchen table to drink a cup of coffee.
“And I sat at that table” he said, “thinking about my little girl and thinking about the fact that she could be taken away from me at any minute… and about my dedicated, devoted and loyal wife… and I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore… I bowed down over that cup of coffee and prayed… Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I’m right. I think the cause we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I am trembling and I’m losing my courage…
"Then, it seemed to me (at that moment) that I heard an inner voice saying, ‘Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the world.’
"I heard his voice, the voice of Jesus telling me to keep fighting on, He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone… never, never to leave me alone”
And that is the witness of a man who recently changed history, a man who found refuge and power within, even in the worst of times.
What was Martin Luther King’s secret? His secret was the secret place.
The strength to fight the ‘civil rights battle’ and the dream that changed a generation came from the Secret Place, from within Martin Luther's soul, where he could hear the Voice that made him.
* Pablo Perez is the editor of Spiritual Fuel (a devotional newsletter for lovers of God) and the creator of Ablaze for Jesus (the inner life coaching program). He loves to write about the Bible and can help you encounter God.