Ruby Bridges was a young girl when she was asked to be the first African American to attend an all white school in Louisiana. Just beginning her first grade year at school, she was accompanied by US Marshalls each day. The first grade teacher quit because she refused to teach an African American child. The children in the first grade all stopped attending class. Ruby was the only child in the first grade and her teacher, Mrs. Henry, was the only one who would teach Ruby.
God never told us when we were placed on this earth that life would be without struggles, but He also never told Ruby and her family how hard life would be. Ruby’s parents disagreed over her attendance at the all white school. Later they would divorce. As schools slowly were forced to integrate, white children came back into the classroom, but very slowly. Teachers began to return and life started a “new normal.”
Change is never easy. Yet each Lent we are asked to change something about ourselves to become closer to God. This Lent are you changing something that makes you uncomfortable? Think about young Ruby Bridges. She certainly went through a change that made her uncomfortable and even fearful for her life. The teacher, Mrs. Henry, did the same. It is possible to change your life and to become more Christ-like, but it certainly isn’t easy.
Lent is truly about being uncomfortable and uncovering those things in your life that you have been fearful to change. It takes perseverance, courage and determination to change those things, and sometimes it takes humility. White people all across the United States were forced to look at what they had done and recognize the wrongs they had committed. Some people didn’t like to look at it that way. Those were the ones who refused to change. They closed their heart to Christ.
The “new normal” can be scary. It can force us to see things we didn’t really want to uncover. It can make us look forgiveness in the eye. The “new normal” is exactly what God wants us to view. It is His plan for us to become more Christ-like so we can focus more on Him and less on us.