Friday, June 4, 2010


I thought I was on vacation.

While touring the American Museum of History last month my husband and I sat down for a presentation about the Civil Rights Movement in front of the Woolworth lunch counter from Greensboro, North Carolina where four students had participated in a sit in. For more information about the event and to see the counter, click here.

The presentation was about how folks prepared for these acts of non-violent action and at one point the presenter handed out historic Woolworth’s menus “to help prepare us for what was ahead”. Like good schoolchildren, we passed around these menus until everyone had seen them. The presenter asked where the menus were, there was one laying on the chair next to me and like 3 others in the audience, held the menu up expecting to be asked to pass it to the front. Instead, the four of us were asked to come sit at the lunch counter.

While sitting at the lunch counter, we were given instructions not to react to negative responses and that we were to just sit. Then after awhile we were surrounded by the rest of audience to represent the people who gave negative responses to the original four protesters.

Tears came to my eyes. This is what I believe in….working to bring a diverse world to the table, and standing up (or in this case sitting down) to injustices that prevent this from happening.

I was on vacation, but this is my life. I hear DOOR participants talk about being on vacation while in our Discover program and often hear about “taking a year off” for service. However, like my experience with the Greensboro lunch counter, I hope that participants see their time at DOOR as a part of their journey instead of a special instance of service, God, or reflection. My prayer is that participants will commit or recommit to their passions, to God, and to a life of reflection in new ways while at DOOR because cultivating a life of service and reflection isn’t something that can be left for vacation.