You’re Being Watched
25 Manuary, 2016
“It’s my constitutional right.”
She was right. She had purchased her ticket just like anyone else. She had a right to sit in the seat she had paid for. Just like anyone else. But she wasn’t just anyone else. She was extraordinary. In more than one way. She was black, she lived in Montgomery, and an African American girl couldn’t just sit anywhere she wanted on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She had been raised in a segregated society. She knew the rules. But she just couldn’t follow them anymore. She said like she felt history was holding her down in her seat. In a Newsweek interview she said, “I felt like Sojourner Truth was pushing down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other—saying, ‘Sit down girl!’ I was glued to my seat.” She knew arrest was imminent, but she stayed where she was.
Maybe you think you know this story. But chances are, you’ve never heard of this woman before. She ignited what would become the bus boycotts of Montgomery, Alabama. But her name is rarely associated with them. Claudette Colvin became pregnant at the age of 16, shortly after being arrested on that bus. As a result, the NAACP decided to use someone else to make the case of discrimination to the world. Ms. Colvin said, “I didn’t fit the image either, of, you know, someone they would want to show off.” Instead she was used as inspiration for the actions and subsequent arrest of Rosa Parks nine months later.
King David wanted to build a temple for God more than anything. He dreamed of, he lived for, he sought after God his entire life. But as he grew older. As his abilities began to meet his desires, God told him no. He had too much blood on his hands. If you remember, David had a man named Uriah killed to cover up an affair and accidental pregnancy David has with his wife Bathsheba. So the temple was going to be built by his son instead. Ironically a son that came from Bathsheba. David died with that disappointment, but he knew it was just.
And here’s where I could go with this. I could ask some questions like, “I wonder if we have anything going on that could keep us from all we could be?” I could say something like, “We are being watched. Our actions will come into account.” I could recall to you that King David missed out on the zenith of his dreams because of something he’d done in the past. And that Claudette Colvin could possibly have been our Rosa Parks without a pregnancy out of wed-lock. And I would be right in asking, “What decision could we make today that could jeopardize our capacity in life?” But that’s not where I want to go.
No matter how much we’ve messed up in our lives, God can use us. No matter what we may have committed, we can be used for greater things. Without David’s dream of a temple I doubt Solomon would have ever built it. And without Ms. Colvin’s resistance to racism I doubt we’d know who Rosa Parks is today. Even if you can’t be the headline you can be the inspiration. Even if the credit won’t be given you, you can take some of the responsibility. Even if everyone else gives up on you, you don’t have to take a back seat. Keep going, keep working, keep striving for the goal. No matter what. It’s a decision of destiny for more than you know.
God Bless You,