Live & Love in the Tension

Posted by: DVULI | January 24, 2023

"Live & Love in the Tension" image by Jordan Francis depicts Martin Luther King Jr's message of love.

by Jordan Francis (Phoenix 2017) 

A few years ago, I sat in a room with Dr. John Perkins, who many consider a major leader in the Christian faith when it comes to racial reconciliation. 

He shared some pearls of wisdom with an intimate group of younger leaders, and I was privileged enough to be one of them.  

Dr. Perkins said something that is still ringing in my ears to this day, “If I could do it all again, I would have loved white people better,” he said. 

This leader had experienced great pain and family death because of racism.  

If anyone had an excuse not to love, it was him. And yet, he wished he had loved more. 

Dr. Perkins had been transformed by Jesus. 

At the time, I was dealing with the anger of being a POC in America. This rocked me to my core. If he could feel this way, what excuse did I have? None. 

In Jim Wilder’s book, Renovated, he argues the criteria to determine spiritual maturity is our ability to love our enemies. 

This barometer for spiritual maturity cuts just as deep.  


What about the racism I’ve experienced personally? 

What about the stories of abuse and exploitation in our families?  

What about the pain in our neighborhoods? 

What about the division in our country?  

What do we do? 


We hold both. We hold the tension. 

We acknowledge the pain. We bring hope.  

We hear lies. We tell the truth.  

We see division. We offer unity.


We enter in, just like our Messiah did in Philippi and still does through his Holy Spirit today:  

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” –Philippians 2:5-8 NIV 

Christ entered our world and experienced pain, loss, and injustice but brought hope, purpose, and a future. 


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  

– MLK 

Reprinted with permission from Reframe.