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The real bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat

This photograph of the actual bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat was taken by Rev. Donnie Williams, a participant in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and author of The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow. The bus is now in Detroit at the Henry Ford Museum.

Eulogizing Rosa

Rosa Parks left us
an un-payable debt:  A Pathway to Freedom.
Legacy secure, work unfinished,
this Freedom Fighter passed.

When God simply asked her to surrender,
her soul had said, “Yes!”  “Seems like
it all started happening, when I stopped
talking,” she said.  And so she sat quietly

in that Montgomery bus, so she could
feel the Spirit and do the right thing.
“If I perish, I perish,” she thought.
Servant-leader, giver, mentor,

she was a light to challenge the darkness.
And now we gather while yet we live
to honor her at this her Home-going.
The defiance that made her holy brought her

to the place from which she went quietly Home,
leaving us behind as her living memorial,
to be known by our works.  “God uses
the available, grounded in Something larger,”

said her eulogizer.  “Turn our mourning into
living, into something love-based.”  And if
we believe that honoring our elders is the first
Commandment with Promise,

we’ll heed unto Preacher Jackson’s words.
We’ll follow freedom’s unselfish path,
hailing her as our (nation’s) Mother Parks,
both now and when “we meet her

on the Other Side.”

first published in TimBookTu

Intimacy between people requires closeness as well as distance. It is like dancing. Sometimes we are very close, touching each other or holding each other; sometimes we move away from each other and let the space between us become an area where we can freely move.
To keep the right balance between closeness and distance requires hard work, especially since the needs of the partners may be quite different at a given moment. One might desire closeness while the other wants distance. One might want to be held while the other looks for independence. A perfect balance seldom occurs, but the honest and open search for that balance can give birth to a beautiful dance, worthy to behold.

February 2007
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