As I reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. I am reminded of his powerful, yet frequently-forgotten, words: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. If society really lived by his words, this world would be a different place entirely. King’s dedication to non-violent social reform and revolution is a lesson in love, peace, and hope. Jesus preached a similar message, and lived a life that exemplified that this is the very best (though certainly not the easiest) way to live. Both men were committed to the cause of peace; Jesus died so that we could live surrounded by it for all of eternity.
Jesus admonished us, time and time again, to love. He used parables to show us that light really does drive out darkness. Jesus, King, and physics have proven this to be true. If I hate someone because they hate someone else, am I really any better the the person I hate? Yes, I may be more socially acceptable. My disgust and hatred may be seemingly justified, but in the end, hate is hate. Darkness is darkness. And the result is devastating.
Let us remember the words that Jesus spoke and the life that he lived. As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., may we be reminded that he stood for peace, unity, and equality. As we examine our own lives, and the way in which we operate in the world, let us always endeavor to be light and love; this is the way to make the world a better place. May we remember to find the beauty, for it is everywhere….we must simply get rid of the shadows, with the radiant light of Jesus, long enough to see it.