A modern day unlikely is Rosa Parks. Unlikely in the person and unlikely was the result of a small defiant act. I actually was living in Montgomery, Alabama for part of that time. The people who I grew up with, went to school with, and played with did not hold her in the high regard that the world does now. Did you know she is the only woman to lie in State in the U.S. Capitol? It was much later, that I and part of my family got to meet her in DC thanks to my friend Dale. (But that’s another story).
I think we can identify with a Rosa Parks more than we can a Moses. Rosa not just saw an injustice and acted, she was the victim of a wrong and helped make it right. It is through her example that we learn that small acts of courage can make a lasting and significant contribution. It takes similar courage to tell a friend, “Please don’t talk like that in my presence” or to tell a family member, “I’d appreciate it if my children didn’t hear you use that word.” For those of you who think such a statement is easy, you are fortunate to never had to say something like that.
I also think we never know when an act of courage in the face of an injustice will start a movement or topple institutions. For Rosa, it was the injustice of being told to go to the back of a bus. For any of us, we may never know when or where an injustice may appear, but we are called to pay attention. At the time, even many supporters of Rosa’s felt that bus seating was a small injustice. But for those with vision, it represented much, much more and they were proven over time right.
During today’s meditation concentrate of being alert for injustice and pray for courage when it crops up. Each of us no matter how unlikely will receive a call.