4 He will not be discouraged or crushed until he has set up justice on the earth. The coastlands will wait for his teachings. 5 The Lord God created the heavens and stretched them out. He shaped the earth and all that comes from it. He gave life to the people who are on it and breath to those who walk on it. This is what the Lord God says: 6 I, the Lord, have called you to do what is right. I will take hold of your hand. I will protect you. I will appoint you as my promise to the people, as my light to the nations. 7 You will give sight to the blind, bring prisoners out of prisons, and bring those who live in darkness out of dungeons. Isaiah 42:4-7
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson is in the process of producing Freedom Riders, a documentary about the 1961 Freedom Riders who brought public attention to the atrocities of segregation.
The Freedom Riders were Northerners, mostly college students, who rode buses into the deep South in protesting segregation. Many were jailed, some were beaten, several were murdered, and a bus was burned, but they persisted in their witness.
To bring a feeling of authenticity to the film, Nelson is recruiting 40 students to ride a bus that will trace the original route. In doing so, Nelson wants to thunder forth this message: "It really says that this movement was a movement of people. Nobody else will ever be a Martin Luther King. What Freedom Riders said is that you don’t have to be."
We may never be an Isaiah who stands in the centerpiece of history as one who was called to "set up justice on the earth." But we do not have to be an Isaiah to make a difference. We will change lives and right wrongs if we follow Isaiah’s example and faithfully implement his teachings.