Last year, for the King holiday weekend, my wife and I visited the Martin Luther King monument; for both of us it was the second time. If you’ve never been there, I recommend it highly. Let yourself be moved not just by the gracefulness of the exhibit but by the profundity of King’s work, every bit as important to us all as that of Lincoln and Jefferson. Then go back a year or so later and be moved again, this time with a little more life experience, and a little more wisdom, and ask yourself if the monument has changed you in any way.
One year later I find myself in Cite Soleil. There is a palpable, almost easy rhythm today at Lamp Health Center, a rhythm that I know can turn staccato quickly, but today it is almost symphonic. I breathe in the easiness, and enjoy the moment.
I inspect the solar power system working beautifully, quietly. It is a welcome antidote to the loud, smoky diesel generator we used to employ. I amble to the women’s health area and am met with the warm and reliable smile of Dr Sever, a smile reflected in the satisfied countenances of the many patients she treats daily. Each patient, each staff member I greet is an affirmation of a vision that refuses to settle for the status quo. That vision refuses the notion that abject poverty is inevitable and okay.
The day passes, and I can now reflect on the contrasting places I have consciously been each January 15th. The King holiday gives me pause, with a posture towards gratitude for what together we have accomplished at Lamp. But I think the holiday also poses a challenge, asking me what my personal role is in going outside the Lamp clinic walls to bear witness to poverty, to injustice. Dorothy Day once said that doing just works was relatively simple. “If you see a place where love is absent, put love there. And there is love.” This King holiday I am most grateful to you all, who have “put love there” as Day recommends. By choosing to be a part of Lamp, I hope you feel as I do, that one’s own life is deeply impacted towards the positive.
With best wishes,
James Morgan, MD
Medical Director/Board President