My 78-year-old mother, Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to breaking the law. She had stationed herself in a little boat in front of a Trident nuclear submarine, a vessel five football fields long with enough nuclear warheads to destroy entire countries. It was the late 1980s. My mother said she was following God’s law. With her body, she said no to weapons of mass destruction and yes to life.
In the months leading up to her act, she had written letters and spoken out, but finally felt compelled to join a group of protesters near the submarine. At the courthouse, reporters asked why she did it. Without a moment’s hesitation, she replied, “I did it for the children of the world.” She felt called to take a stand for a better, more peaceful world.
We sometimes find ourselves in situations that call for faithful disobedience. We, as God’s people, need to move beyond our self-interest and private concerns to see that it is for such a time as this that we are called to be about the work of justice and community. What action will you take today to make the world a better place?
This message was adapted from “For Such a Time as This” by Mary Nelson that appeared in the April 2009 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.