Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Worth the Risk

In our homeschool, we are working our way through American history in a chronological order, learning about each new state in the order that it ratified the constitution.  As we've learned about each new state, I have noted which states remained in the Union and which states joined the Confederacy.  Last week we started learning about the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, life on a plantation for both slave owners and slaves, the underground railroad, etc.

Of course such a topic can't be taken at face value with my kids.  Lizzy asked me, "Mom, what if we lived during the time of slavery?"  "Well, Lizzy.  It would depend on where we lived.  If we lived in the north, we would most likely be anti-slavery.  If we lived in the south, I can only hope that we would still be anti-slavery, but I don't know."  David said that if he lived back then, he would paint a big sign, bigger than our house, that said, "Slavery is wrong."  While I fully agreed with him, I felt it important to mention that such a statement would probably have led to him being murdered for his beliefs.

"People would kill you?!"

"David, you just finished reading a biography about Abraham Lincoln.  How did he die?"

"He was killed."

"Right.  He was assassinated by someone who didn't agree with his views on slavery, states rights, and other things.  Do you remember learning about Martin Luther King Jr.?  He also stood up and said racism is wrong, and someone who didn't agree with him assassinated him to shut him up.  Or what about Jesus?  He spoke out against the Pharisees, against sin, against the popular ideas of his time, knowing full well that He was going to be killed by people wanting to shut him up.  What if Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., or Abraham Lincoln hadn't taken that risk?   What if they had decided that it was too dangerous, they were too afraid of being killed, so they just kept quiet?  We would still be stuck in our sin, in need of a Savior.  We would still live in a country that allowed slavery, in a country that still considered it acceptable to treat people of different races inhumanely.  If you see evil going on, if you believe in it strongly enough, if God calls you to take a stand against it, then you take that risk because nothing will ever change unless someone stands up and says 'This is wrong.'  One person can make the difference."

I don't know if my children will ever be called upon to be that person who takes the unpopular stand, but I pray that if they are called, they will be brave enough to risk it all.  And I pray that I will be the mother who can stand back and let them.

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