Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Shepastor: “The Cost of Obeying God, Rather than Men…”
The season is upon us where we focus more clearly upon the struggles of our Nation to embrace civil rights for all. Around this time of year many read about, pray about, sing about, and have special gatherings about those men and women who gave their lives so that our Nation may fully realize the words, “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…”
Familiar to most are the names, Martin Luther King, Jr., Medger Evers, Mahatma Ghandi, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, John Lewis and others. We honor these individuals for their courage, selfless deeds and tenacity to change the course of history in favor of freedom and human rights for all. Each had to make a decision to stand up against systems that were fettered by hatred and ignorance. Several of them paid the ultimate price – faithful unto death.
There is, however, a name that doesn’t readily come to mind when we list these heroes, yet none the less is a giant among them. She was not a pastor, a community leader, or someone of any particular note. She was a house wife and mother who saw the travesties committed against people of color and was compelled to do what she could to bring about change. Her name is Viola Liuzzo. After witnessing “Bloody Sunday,” (The day, March 7, 1965, when civil rights activists attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in order to vote and were met with billy clubs, fire hoses, vicious dogs, tear gas and guns by local law enforcement) she determined that she could not stand by and do nothing.
She became a member of the local NAACP. She took the bold step of going South, uniting with Dr. King and others in the marches from Selma to Montgomery. Mrs. Liuzzo assisted by transporting civil rights workers between the two cities. On one of those trips, she was spotted transporting a young African American male student worker. She was shot in the head and killed by members of the KKK. Her death, along with the televised brutalities associated with those marches to Montgomery sparked the outcry of the Nation.
Her family was ostracized, taunted and threatened. She was accused of being a tramp, a whore and a bad mother for leaving her children to “meddle in business that was not her own.” Despite all of these false accusations and shameful acts of cowardice, Mrs. Viola Liuzzo shines among the great ones. God used her to help change the world. You can read more about Mrs. Liuzzo at http://www.biography.com/people/viola-gregg-liuzzo-370152
Discipleship is costly. The currency, however, is well spent when life, healing and deliverance are birthed. May we too have the courage to speak, stand, serve and love even when the masses are behaving to the contrary.
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,