To Build the Beloved Community
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. You may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. You may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate, nor establish love. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Here is a prayer poem that I wrote for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. a few years ago for an interfaith peace and justice meeting:
Pray to whomever you kneel in awe before.
Pray to Being, to Sacred Mystery, to the Breath of Life.
Pray to Divine Love, to Ultimate Meaning, to the Author of Peace.
Pray so as to open your humanity to the humanity in others.
Pray through tears dripping with the world’s suffering.
Pray without forgetting
that we are bound together
on a path that touches all of our lives,
all of our worlds,
whether we live in Haiti or Iraq or China
or Afghanistan or Yemen or Palestine
or on the central coast of California.
On this day we thank you, Holy One, for Martin Luther King Jr.
We thank you for all who have the vision and the courage
to build the beloved community
where everyone is valued,
power is shared,
privilege is set aside,
and all creation knows your healing Presence and Peace.
In your many names we pray. Amen.
Words (c) 2013 Mark Lloyd Richardson