“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Dr. King’s words from Strength to Love (1963) are not only a reminder of what we should aspire to accomplish; they reinforce the teachings of Jesus and the early Church, that nothing worthwhile can be accomplished apart from the pure love of Christ.
Even though Dr. King brought great change to marginalized people decades ago, we continue to fight the same battles today in our very communities. Our society says that people should be valued only for what they can offer, instead of seeing each as one created in the beautiful image of God.
Whether our neighbors are relegated to the side with less power because of a different skin tone, ethnicity, age, gender, cognitive ability, or socio-economic status, it is our calling to listen to, stand with, and to advocate for equal and equitable treatment for everyone.
However, our efforts will become void if this is not done with true love, just as the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13.
Two of the Texas Christian Community Development Network’s main pillars of work are connecting and advocating for those most in need in Texas. It is our desire that today (and every other day) will be one in which we honor Dr. King’s legacy by listening to people who are different from us in order to better understand the strength that we share in diversity. When we listen to each other in a humble fashion, understanding and love with grow in us, and we will be able to drive darkness and hate out of our lives and communities.