The Hands and Feet of Jesus are Still Needed in Today's World! YES!

On the holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Yvette Richards has written a blog post honoring Dr. King and his work. The Beloved Community, according to The King Center, is a central tenet of Dr. King's message, and "was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence." Dr. Richards is a layperson serving as the Director of Community Connections and Mission at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo. As a student, her Theological Foundation paper was on Martin Luther King Jr and the Beloved Community. She is a member of the Board of Directors at Cornerstones of Care, serving on the Governor Board and Program Council.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  

 — James 2:14-17 

My passion for the least, lost, forgotten, and abandoned goes daily as I see our world passing individuals without thought of how to help. I am blessed to be a member of the largest faith-based organization now called United Women in Faith (UWF); we have a love for women, children, and youth. Cornerstones of Care is part of our UWF family as a National Mission Institution (NMI).    

I remember Spofford-a former NMI and, until 2022, part of Cornerstones of Care-provided opportunities for us to share a measure of comfort for the children coming to the realization that this was their new home. We would make blankets for each new child. Your heart was warmed and sad at the same time. As a society, we must explore how we can stir up good trouble by helping our sisters and brothers. Being a part of Cornerstones of Care provides insight into a big family reunion. Having the chance to put a smile on a child's face is priceless.

We learn in the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King Jr. provides a social justice foundation and plan of action that gives us hope in preparing individuals to step out of their comfort zone in looking beyond the possibilities of hope and change for the needy, the poor, and the forgotten. Taking a deeper look into the Beloved Community with the ways of gathering people from all walks of life together, uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging those willing to be tree shakers and difference makers in the land where hope seems to have vanished.  

We learn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the importance of the Beloved Community's mission and purpose. What can everyone do every day to make the Beloved Community real? “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. … You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love, and you can be that Servant,” Dr. King said. We will follow the words that lead and inspire all of us to move forward. Choose love instead of hate. Seek to win friendship and understanding. Seek to defeat injustice and not persons. Believe that the universe is on the side of justice. Find individuals or groups that are helping improve your neighborhood or community and support them with your time, talent, or treasure. Participate in community service. 

If you find yourself wondering what life looks like helping children who need a shoulder to lean on or even play kickball with, please bless yourself in contact with Cornerstones of Care. I don't want anyone to say I did not share where part of my blessings come from.  

Humble Servant, 

Dr. Yvette Richards