Afghanistan, beloved community, courage, Haiti, justice, Martin Luther King, Palestine, peace, sacred mystery, ultimate meaning, vision
“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
Stephanie Jill Rudd said:
We are obviously inspired from the same source of inspiration today!
mark lloyd richardson said:
That’s a good thing! Thanks, Stephanie. Blessings, Mark
Where God Takes Me said:
Thank you for sharing this poem with us, it’s beautiful.
mark lloyd richardson said:
Thank you for sharing your kind words. Peace, Mark
Amen. And thank you for speaking clearly and with the kind of *com*passion that I think is far better suited to a life of faith than any divisive talk out of us-vs-them religions. It soothes my heart to believe that there are others who think God transcends such petty human concerns as name and sex and race and so forth. Bless you, Friend! Kathryn
Professions for PEACE said:
This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is worth remembering and for us all to share your poem on the 3rd Monday in January (or on the 15th for MLK’s actual birthday). With gratitude, Gina
Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I know it’s been a while since I was here but you have been in our thoughts Mark! In fact, my husband has often asked me how you are doing and I am so glad I spent this morning here just soaking up your words and thoughts. I am deeply blessed. I believe I can sense the heart of God through you. Warmest wishes from us, Sharon & Sam