I've mentioned a book called "The Jew Store" several times now. Reading it has reminded me how grateful I am for people before us who have fought for human rights.
This book is written by a Jewish woman whose parents came to America separately after living in Russia. Both lived in New York but didn't know each other until later on in life when they finally did meet and marry. Together, they decided to head south (they ended up in a tiny town in Tennessee) in order to open up a store. At the time of the move they had two children and left all of the rest of their family behind. A few years later, the daughter who wrote the book was born.
As I read this book, I realize that some things might be embellished a little bit. Still, I have been confronted with the hatred that this world has for certain "kinds" of people.
In Russia, the Jewish people were hated and despised and considered filth.
They move to America and they are still hated. (This is the early 1900's, before WWII, before Hitler's slaughtering days, etc.)
Hated not for their religion, but their ethnicity. And what's more, hated by people that hadn't even personally KNOWN a Jewish person before.
The thing is, I can't really figure out why they were hated so much.
When they moved south, this family learned that they had company. Sure, they were hated. They didn't know if their store would be welcome and were given quite a hard time. But, the south hated them just like they hated the black people.
I don't know the answer to that either. I have studied history, I have read books, and I know my fair share of prejudiced people, but I do not understand it at all.
Today, I am grateful for men and women who have recognized the sheer stupidity of this hatred. I am thankful that they gave their time and energy to a cause that resulted in people being free to live and serve God as they ought regardless of who they are or where they came from.
One of the heroes that comes to mind is obviously Martin Luther King Jr. I am sure glad that he had a dream. What's more, I am glad that I get to live during the days when that dream has come to be a reality.
Whoever you are, where ever you came from, God made you and He has a plan for your life. What dream has He given you? Don't waste it!