Thursday, August 14, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: Jonathan Myrick Daniels

Psalms 105:1-22 * 105:23-45; Judges 14:1-19; Acts 6:15-7:16; John 4:27-42

I met Ruby Sales a little over a year ago. She came to the church at which I work one Sunday morning, sitting in the back row. She introduced herself on the way in and her name was like a clarion bell. She is a very unassuming and quiet individual. She became a regular for a few months and then her life took her elsewhere.

We asked if she would do us the favor and preach for our congregation. Initially she said that she would think about it, but later refused. Although still active in civil rights she was looking for a worship space to worship and pray and didn't feel called to preach. Although slightly disappointed we understood and respected her requests.

I had often wondered before I met her, and have continued to wonder since, if she has ever gotten over that terrible day  of August 14, 1965 when a 12-gauge shotgun was fired at her 16 year old self, but hit 26 year old Jonathan Daniels, who had pushed her out of the way. Is it possible to ever completely get over that kind of trauma? We remember and commemorate Jonathan Myrick Daniels in Lesser Feasts and Fasts today. We should also remember Ruby Sales and the countless others whose lives were saved and continue to be affected by sacrifices made by them and on their behalf in the civil rights movement.

Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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