Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Standing Next To History

Standing next to history

Most of us learn our history from a textbook. Textbooks are necessary because most events happened hundreds of years ago. Rarely do people get the opportunity to shake hands with history. On August 16th, 2006, I was blessed to have such an opportunity. On top is a picture of me and Fred Shuttlesworth. Below is a picture of Shuttlesworth standing next to MLK Jr. and Ralph Abernathy. Fred Shuttlesworth was a primary figure in the Civil Rights movement. He basically started the movement in Alabama by creating the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights since the state of Alabama had made the NAACP an illegal organiztion in 1956.

On Christmas night 1956, Klansmen bombed his house with sticks of dynamite while he and his family were in the house. By the grace of God no one was hurt. The following year in September 1957, Shuttleswoth took his children to Phillips High School in an attempt to integrate the school. Shuttlesworth, however, was greeted at the school by an angry white mob that proceeded to beat him with brass knuckles, bike chains, and bats as the police looked on. Me and my brother brought Mr. Shuttlesworth to come speak at our Wednesday night last class about living in community. The questioned we posed to Shuttlesworth was, how do I live with someone who hates me?

Shuttlesworth's enitre life in Alabama was spent living with those who hated him. The great irony was they hated him for doing what was right not only in the eyes of the Constitution, but in the eyes of God. He told us how he did not expect to see 40 living in Alabama, yet here he was at 84 continuing to stress non-violence and compassion. He has lived long enough to see God bring about great change. The evening with Shuttlesworth left me to ponder, are we ready for change in 2006? I believe all of us are ready for change, but we don't know how to bring change about. Shuttlesworth reminded us of MLK's insistence on not using evil means to bring about good ends because the two are bonded together like a seed is to a tree. Bringing about change through good-nonviolent means forces us to ask, do we believe God is all that he said he was? Well Mr. Shuttlesworth is convinced he is and so am I.


Coming Soon: Pledging Allegiance to Christ


K. Vath, BSN, RN 6:48 AM  

Wish I could have been there Chris!

jch 7:25 AM  

Wow! Shuttlesworth? Really? That's incredible. And he spoke at CVCC? I'm sitting here with my jaw dropped. Like you said, it's one thing to read about someone's stance on civil rights/justice; it's an entirely different thing to hear and see it personally. I'm trying not to be jealous.

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