2019-02-01 / Chaplain's News

A gift to humanity

Chaplain (Capt.) Kevin G. White
782nd Military Intelligence Battalion

On Jan. 10, the Cyber Protection Brigade hosted the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Command Program. Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Mitchell L. Kilgo described King as a gift. I echo that sentiment.

King was a gift not just to our nation, but to all humanity. King’s commitment to justice and nonviolence was a gift. His willingness to stand boldly against injustice and oppression in the face of a very real danger was a gift.

Speaking of gifts, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday takes on added significance this year on what would have been a special birthday for the iconic civil rights leader. On Jan. 15, King would have turned 90 years old.

That gift lives on in each and every one of us who is inspired to act by the life and words of King.

In a speech on March 2, 1967 at Marietta College, King said, “When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.”

Not many can nor will make an impact on scale near that of King, but we can all do our part to help the world get closer to realizing his dream of a beloved community.

In a speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1967, King said, “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

Being the best of whatever we are means living into who and what God called and created us to be. The Bible teaches that we are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), that God is love (1 John 4:8), and that love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Therefore, we are being the best of whatever we are when we as individuals and as a society promote an ethic of love, justice, and humanity in all aspects of life – legal, political, civic, religious, spiritual, and moral. In other words, we must strive toward what King defined as the “beloved community.” The more we are motivated by love, the more unified we become.

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