Today, December 1, is sometimes referred to as Rosa Parks Day. On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus to make room for a white passenger. It was a dangerous act of civil disobedience, and one that launched the modern civil rights movement. Writing about it years later, she said
Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it. I kept thinking about my mother and my grandparents, and how strong they were. I knew there was a possibility of being mistreated, but an opportunity was being given to me to do what I had asked of others.
It takes courage to speak up against injustice. To say, as Rosa Parks did that day, this just isn’t right and I’m not going to accept it. Yet we are called as Christians to promote justice and to advance the dignity of all human persons, even when it is unpopular…even when it is difficult. People like Rosa Parks stand as a shining model for us as we carry out our calling.
Update: My friend Gerry shared with me his favorite Rosa Parks quote, from during the lengthy Montgomery bus boycott: “My feet may be tired, but my soul is rested.”