Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I’m concerned about a better world; I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood and sisterhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder… Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.
“And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to humankind’s problems. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. […] and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. John was right, “God is love.” He who hates does not know God, but he who loves has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.”
Divine Love teaches me not to separate people into “Us” and “Them.” God cherishes all that He created. God never stops being divine Love. Even when people act unloveable, that does not change God. God is still Love. Jesus showed us this by his life. He hated what hurt people and actively eliminated it, but he didn’t hate people. He didn’t react to evil by excluding people, but by widening the circle of those he blessed. He forgave even those who killed him and thus he did not expand the kingdom of hate but he negated it and greatly enlarged the kingdom of Love.
Like Jesus, like Martin Luther King Jr, I want to add more goodness to the atmosphere when violence or hate explodes, such as with events in Orlando. It does take more than words, more than “emotional bosh” to love difficult people. But I find that making a commitment to love more is a way to do something constructive when events close by or far away might make me feel helpless.
Hating the haters is too great a burden to bear. To get engaged in fear and reaction to a scenario of exclusion, violence, fault, and guilt is to get bolluxed up enough to stop my own life’s forward motion. There is no category of people unworthy of God’s—and my—love. No ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, race, economic status, nationality, political persuasion, or any other category renders someone unworthy of love and acknowledgement as worthy to exist and be accepted. Finding someone who feels like “Them” to me, and consciously working to understand more and love more does lift off some of the burden of hate.
The Bible advises us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God.*” Deciding to love— and bringing “Them” into the love of God as well, makes all of us into “Us.” This feels closer to being the world I want to live in. To Martin Luther King Jr, it was the ultimate reality. I think it was to Jesus too. We are in good company if we join them in deciding to stick with love.