There are many of us who believe that the center and source of all existence is a community of self-giving, other-centered love, where there is no hierarchy of power, no hierarchy of value and no hierarchy of respect. Even if you do not believe as many of us do, that Jesus is the incarnation of this self-giving, other-centered God, completing an intention from the beginning of space, time and matter to fully identify with us, you can still believe in the ‘Spirit’ of Jesus; the humility that embraces our common history as humanity, the openness to walking in the eyes of the ‘other’, the risks of searching together for better ways and understandings, the courage to suspend our judgments and prejudices while attacking the darkness that resides in our own hearts.
God has a dream. Abraham Lincoln has a dream. Gandhi has a dream. Martin Luther King has a dream. I have a dream. We all have, in our heart of hearts, a dream: that together we can forge through relationships a world that is safe for our children, our grandchildren and our neighbor’s children, that we can share in a humanity where the color of our skin is neither indicative of innate superiority nor criminal tendency, that we eradicate any belief in a chain of being and declare together our unity in the circle of being, where the ‘one’ is as important and significant as the ‘many’, that together we will fight the enemy of our humanity that continues to divide us, accuse us and dis-colors our perspectives through greed, fear, technique and ideology.
Evil has no color, but grace is every color, as is forgiveness, repentance, confession, compassion and self-giving, other-centered love. As evil is an incremental process so too will be our healing.
But it is time! Time for the healing. Time to join together in the ‘Spirit’ of Jesus, who refuses to treat the maligned and less-fortunate with anything other than profound dignity, who would never relate to a human being, especially our children, as commodities to be bought or sold, or from whom to extract servitude or pleasure. It is time to admit we don’t understand but are willing to learn, to open our hands rather than clench them, to abandon any hierarchy of value that catalogues our differences as a basis for respect.
It is time to beat our weapons into implements for our common good and not just our own insecure portions of it, for justice to restore and heal and not marginalize and punish, for the powers that be to bow before simple and individual acts of humility and kindness, to respect the history and culture of the ‘other’ as something to be treasured and protected, to end violence of the heart and mind as well as the hand. It is time, to dream…together!
Wm Paul Young