The Beloved Community

by Catherine Hanna Schrock

Martin Luther King

Had a vision

More than the dream

For equality   

It was the conviction

That we are called

To live into a new reality

He called it

The Beloved Community…

The Beloved Community

And King coined the term

Declared the prophecy

But it is God’s destiny for all humanity

To lift the veil of fear-

That great division

So we can see clearly

To take a position

On love

And live into love’s provision


We are all the beloved

Yes you

And her and him and me


The beloved community

Includes my enemy

It’s my gift and my responsibility

But it’s not as hard as it seems

Love is a helper

Love renews the mind

Fear makes us blind…


Fear sees that annoying neighbor

Trapping me in conversation

Feeling that obligation

To nod and listen

Nod and Listen

Then she calls the landlord on me

Anytime I host a party


Then to look again…

And see her

With love’s purity

She is subdued

By her insecurity

Overcome with anxiety

And grief

That she may never feel the relief

Of a lover’s tenderness

A sister’s kindness

She is lonely

And she’s our family

One more of the beloved community

If we have eyes to see


Fear sees the homeless

As aggressive

With a stench so oppressive


Muttering convulsive

Drug tripp’n out nonsense


But to look again…

And see him

With love’s glance

To see days of innocence

That’s somebody’s baby

Just living in the consequence

Of his father’s addiction

Fell through the cracks

Of a failed system

He is a victim

And our family

One more in the beloved community

If we have eyes to see


Fear sees the immigrant

As ignorant

Hears an accent

And thinks

That’s different

I doubt we can relate

And continues to isolate…

But to look again…

And see him

With love’s patience

He came all this way

To give his kids a chance

She was a lawyer

And now she’s washing dishes

Put away their personal wishes

And yet somehow they are

Humorous, generous

Invite you to tea

Every opportunity

Because they’re family

A few more in the beloved community

If we have eyes to see


To see…another

Whomever to you is

The other

Person of color















And…her and him


You tell me


Take a deep breath

And listen

Look within

You have the vision

Do you believe?

That there is another way

To perceive?

That with time and grace

We can receive

A lens of possibility

To see

The other story

The lion with the lamb

In victory

I am

The mystery

It’s not easy.

But it brings ease.

It takes humility.

And then sets us free.

It’s our gift

It’s our responsibility.

Love over fear.

The beloved community…

Is Here




Catherine Hanna Schrock

Catherine Hanna Schrock is an applied theater practitioner which brings together her work as an educator, performer, and writer. She has a Master's in Educational Theater from New York University and a B.A. in Sociology and International Development. As an artist, she works to create written and performance pieces around themes of reconciliation and human connection.