In a speach given in 1956 after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregating the buses in Montgomery, Alabama Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It's this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this typ of good will that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. it is the this love whih will bring about miracles in the hearts of people."
In some hearts there is love. In others there is hatred. But to "build a nation in which neither punishment nor privilege is attached to one's race, skin color, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other human difference" requires one thing, writes Adam Russel Taylor. "It starts with an understanding that we are beloved by God." We are all made in God's image. We are all tagged and marked by God's finger print. We are all made equally valued and respected by God, no matter our vices, shortcomings, or political affiliations and contradictions.
If we believe this to be true, that we are beloved children of God, then we ought to treat all people as if we are going to wake up tomorrow and they are going to be our roommate, our in-laws our neighbors, our spouses, our doctors, our teachers, our fellow human traversing the same creation albeit different paths. We ought to care for each other and look out for one another's best interest.
War is not the answer. Love is.
It all begins with God's love for us. It is God who first reconciled with us. It was God who redeemed us. And in the end, it is God who created a community of beloved people. It all starts with having love for each other, and a willingness to be committed to finding a common ground to begin building a beloved community of empathetic and supportive grace. "It's a community in which we are constantly seeking to build and restore right relationships," writes Taylor.
What might restoration and reconciliation look like if our hearts look like God's? Given our success rate with warfare, I'd say it's worth a try.
Taylor, Adam Russell. Sojourners: Vol. 49, No. 1. January 2020, p. 10.