Martin Luther King Jr popularized the phrase, “The Beloved Community” and that’s immediately where I went when I read the theme of “beloved.” The King center in Atlanta describes the Beloved Community in this way:
The Beloved Community, as described by Dr. King, is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it.
Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.
In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.http://thekingcenter.org
What a world that would be to live in. It may feel unrealistic and it might be. But that is still what we strive for and work towards. Yesterday was my day at a place in Newport, KY called Brighton Center. Since the start of the pandemic, I have been going there every Wednesday to deliver food to folks in the area who are in need. Yesterday, the word “beloved” came to me as I was going to the back of my van to get the bags I would be taking to a woman on my list. As I carefully pulled out the paper bags (they have been known to rip as they are often quite heavy), I was praying for what would need to happen in me, in others, in our communities, in our world for this woman to truly feel “beloved.” Maybe she does feel that she is a part of the beloved community. But in the definition from the King Center…we have a long way to go to because of how much poverty, hunger, homelessness, discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice is not only present but fostered in our world right now.
A lot of work to do…But I’ll be back there next Wednesday. You’re welcome to join me.