The Boldness of Justice
Rosa Parks considered herself a meek and timid person. She was a shy, quiet child who excelled in reciting Scriptures in Sunday school at the local African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. This quiet, Christian girl grew up, married, and moved to Montgomery, Alabama.
Black passengers dependent on Montgomery’s bus system were subjected to complex and unevenly applied rules, all of which were humiliating. The ten rearmost seats were for black passengers and if instructed to do so, a black passenger, regardless of location on the bus, had to surrender his or her seat to a white passenger.
Rosa had not planned her act of defiance on that December day in 1955. When she was ordered to surrender her seat to a white man, something rose inside her. In that moment, a meek, shy, Jesus-loving woman became very bold. She refused, was arrested, booked, and jailed.
Her boldness galvanized the black community. Rosa’s “No” led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which grabbed national headlines and set in motion the dismantling of immoral segregationist laws all over the nation.
We can all take heart in the boldness of Rosa Parks. When she was faced with a great injustice, her faith made her as bold as a lion, and God used her to change the course of American history.
Boldness does not belong only to those of great intelligence or stature. Instead, boldness belongs to people who, like Rosa, cultivate a gentle spirit of faith but finally grow weary of the injustice around them. Sometimes instead of accepting unfairness as “just the way it is,” we need to put aside our fears and insufficiencies, using wisdom and the Holy Spirit as our guide to speak out boldly.