November 1 - All Saints Day. In the Christian tradition, today is the day where we specifically remember the saints who have gone before us. They may be people we have known and loved personally, figures from the Bible, or people throughout history. As the great lady Rosa Parks was laid to rest yesterday, I thought it would be fitting to remember her on this special day.
It's hard to imagine a time living under Jim Crow in 1955. I was born in 1967, and even though I have heard from my Mom and Granny how segregated things were (and even though I still see so many other symptoms of segregation and racism in today's world) - it's so hard to imagine a woman being forced to give up a seat on the bus to a man. Especially a woman who has worked hard at the service of others throughout the day. I have wondered what kind of man that man was who insisted that Rosa Parks give up her seat on the bus, simply because she was black.
I also have a hard time imagining the courage it must have taken for Rosa Parks to refuse that white man. She full well knew the consequences. She had seen how black people were treated. She knew what she was about. And her faith gave her the courage to refuse to abide by unjust laws.
She arose as one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. Her courage, her peaceful and engaging presence, her vision are all things that I admire in this wonderful saint. I know there is still a long way to go towards racial reconciliation and equality. I pray that Rosa Park's spirit will live on in all of us as we seek to live in a more just world.