He reminded the millions of people who tuned in to watch the historical event of the redemptive power of love to heal, to empower, to transform.
If you missed it, here are some soundbites:
The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”
There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved. There’s power, power in love, not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense in which when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it. It actually feels right. There’s something right about it. There’s a reason for it. It has to do with the source.
We were made by a power of love. Our lives were meant and are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here. Ultimately the source of love is God himself. The source of all of our lives.
There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live.
He used his public address to preach a universal message of hope and call each one of us to action. Love, he explained, isn’t just the kind of affection found in a marriage or a courtship. Love is a commitment and a value we make to everyone who crosses our path – our colleagues, our friends, our communities. It is the greatest commandment and one that leads to world harmony and justice:
Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine our neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired old world when love is the way. When love is the way — unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive — when love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream, and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook.
His words made me think about all of the deep connections I have formed with friends, doctors, teachers, mentors, and co-workers over the course of my life — sources of redemptive love that have truly transformed me, healing wounds that I had labeled as permanent. These people appeared in my life like angels, showing me the path to self-compassion by accepting me and loving for who I am, quirks and all. Rev. Curry is right. In that love, I was lifted up and liberated in ways I thought impossible.
Love heals, redeems, transforms.
Perhaps all the stuff we worry about doesn’t matter much in the end. Maybe the driving force behind our existence shouldn’t be so complicated.
It should be simply to love.