The worst of times

Like prior messengers, Martin Luther King spoke of love. He preached love and lived love when his country boiled with hatred, when the seams of civility were frayed almost beyond mending. When the poor lived in fearful desperation, violence defeated reason on all sides, and you could not hear a prayer for all the shouting. He had a dream, and the dream grew followers, and the followers marched. He would be 82 today if an assassin’s bullet had not cut him down on 4 April 1968, as he stood on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, one man in the name of love.