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Image from Biography.com

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For those of us in the United States, this is a national holiday that results in a day off from school.

Most of us look at a day off from school as an extra vacation day. I think the meaning of this day has become lost and it’s become another Labor Day or Presidents Day. Just another day off from school.

A few years ago before my husband and I were married, we found ourselves in Atlanta, GA. for a few days. One afternoon we had some time off and wondered what we should do with the few hours we had. When we learned that the Martin Luther King, Jr. Museum was only about two miles away from where we were staying, we decided that would be a lovely way to spend those few hours.

We decided we would walk there, rather than take a cab. The hotel worker mentioned we would be walking through an area he thought, “wasn’t the best.” I asked him how bad it was, and the description sounded to both of us a lot like downtown Cleveland. In fact, when it was mentioned we were from Cleveland, even the hotel worker agreed that we would probably be fine. So, we took off down the road and saw a side of Atlanta not many see. It was very much like area’s around Cleveland. We felt rather at home walking down the street.

When we got to the museum we spent hours just floating around this small place looking at one of the most important, if not the most important, man in the Civil Rights movement.

What struck me the most in the remnants of this mans life was not the many suits, or hand written speeches, nor even his beautiful memorial reflecting pool. It was his Bible. Worn out and yet, well-loved. This bible could fit into a jacket pocket, and from its condition you could see this small work was a constant companion. He must have read it every day of his life. I remember just staring at it through the glass case thinking, “I wonder what his favorite passage was? Did he write notes in the margins? Did you underline certain verses that he felt particularly moved by?” I felt a great connection to the man, not the figure-head of a movement, as I walked through the halls of his museum and the King Center.

Today, I want to remember the man of Martin Luther King, Jr. and not just what he represents. He was a man of many talents, and a man who had children, loved his wife, and was planning for a future that never came for him.

This post has been submitted to January 2014 NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo is a month-long challenge to post once a day on your blog, hosted by Blogher. Each month has its own theme. January’s theme is “pressure.”