Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Lesson from Ruby Bridges

We journeyed on a field trip to the Children's Museum yesterday. We hadn't been there in probably 3-4 years...I'm loving getting to revisit all of my favorite places for toddlers again:) Anyway...the museum has a powerful exhibit called the Power of Children that focuses on Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White. We were able to sit in a replica of Ruby's 1st grade classroom at William Franz Elementary School and hear a dramatic monologue by one of the Federal Marshalls that accompanied Ruby through the hostile crowd outside of the school. Ruby was six at the time and was the first African-American student admitted to the school. There were huge protests in New Orleans against her admittance. Many people were screaming horrible things at Ruby. The museum had a photo of some of the protesters...some of them had taken a black baby doll and put it in a coffin. In the same picture there is a smiling, little white girl holding up a cross. A cross?! Their hatred was a very ugly thing. After a few days of this same thing, one of the federal marshalls saw that Ruby was saying something as she walked by the angry mob. She was praying. She wasn't praying for herself, but she was praying for God to forgive those who were cursing her. This is part of her prayer: "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don't know what they're doing. So you could forgive them, just like you did those folks a long time ago when they said terrible things about you." I want to be more like Ruby Bridges and I pray I can teach my children how to forgive those who hurt them, like Ruby's Mom must have taught her.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14


Walking by Faith said...

Thank you for sharing this post about Ruby Bridges. I too hope to teach my children to love and forgive those who hurt them, and that I also will love and forgive those who hurt my children.

Sarah Dawn said...

We love the story of Ruby Bridges! My little ones ask me to read it time and time again. They don't understand prejudice as they truly see all children the same. When we were serving in Kenya, they told every body about the differences, different food, different clothes, different weather, but never once mentioned the different color of skin! It just didn't seem like a real difference to them. Thanks for reminding me that the strength of a child can change a nation!

Hugs from this missionary mommy,
Sarah Dawn

Loreen said...

Thanks for sharing the story! What courage and compassion she had!

I hope I can instill those same character traits in my children and show them how to forgive like that!

Daniel, Lauren, and Emerson said...

I love reading your blog. You continue to be so inspirational to me...even when we don't get to see each other. Maybe soon I can meet the African Princess!