Last week my 7-year-old daughter came home from school excited about what she had learned. As I’m preparing dinner, Jordyn ran into the kitchen with enthusiasm and said, “Mama! Do you know who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is? Do you know what he fought for and how he wanted us to love one another?"
I told Jordyn yes and asked what her thoughts were about Dr. King.
"Mama, I think he was a great man. I wouldn’t be able to go to school and be best friends with Emily if it wasn’t for him," Jordyn said.
Jordyn continued sharing what she learned about Dr. King with pure innocence and enthusiasm. She continuously said, "Mom, I can’t believe it was like that back in the day. It is not hard; it’s very easy! Why would we treat people different because of the color of their skin?"
As Jordyn continued asking why, I found myself unable to answer some of her questions. I thought to myself, when did we lose the child-like innocence of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ and started judging people based on the differences that make us special? How do we gain that innocence back and right the wrong so many have experienced over the years?
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus gives two commandments. The first, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The second, he says, is similar to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus Christ wants us to love others as God loves us. When I think about how we can move forward, the solution appears to be more like Christ, reconciling that love for my brothers and sisters in Christ without the conditions of what makes us different.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” – 1 John 4: 7
Written by Jessica Moore, manager of program administration for Buckner Retirement Services and a member of the Cultural Intelligence Committee at Buckner International.