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The Five Steps to Nonviolence – Step Five

Step Five is Direct Action. Only as a last resort, should direct action be launched. Too often people charge ahead, without laying the groundwork, and act based on rumors. They fail to negotiate based on specifics learned from investigation. Charlie Walker stressed, “Direct action must be launched only when all attempts at persuasion have failed, repeated offers of negotiation are refused and no area of compromise can be found.” He wrote, “the effort is not to overcome or humiliate the opponents, but rather … to seek reconciliation, understanding and friendship.”

Dr. Martin Luther King at the 1963 March on Washington

The Five Steps to Nonviolence – Step Four

Step Four is Spiritual Preparation/Training. Achieve spiritual discipline and moral strength by asking your leaders and participants to examine their motives, work at forgiveness, and use prayer to accomplish these things.
Rigorous training during the civil rights movement made it possible for demonstrators to protest in a loving and positive way by changing their attitudes and working at forgiveness beforehand. Using extensive role-playing enabled them to deal with bitterness and hatred, emotions which can alienate potential allies.

“Eternal God… Help us to seek that which is high, noble and Good.”   Martin Luther King Jr.

The Story behind my Logo

I have a brand-new logo, courtesy of my wonderful husband William. The idea of this logo (and my mission) came about when Mom took me to visit Coretta Scott King’s sister, Edythe Bagley, in Cheyney, who dedicated and signed the inside of a new book about Dr. King with, “To Brenda, who shares the Dream!”


We all lose things, right? How much time do we waste looking for misplaced items? Hours! So, I found out long ago to pray to Jesus to help find lost things. This played out interestingly, as I traveled home last month from Philadelphia.

At the airport, I showed my driver’s license to security and held it securely under my thumb, along with my boarding pass. After the long walk to the gate, I stopped and set my things down on a nearby seat, so I could put the license away in my wallet.

But it was gone! I looked around and under the seat. I asked at the gate desk and the lady knew nothing, except that I still could still make my connecting flight from my layover in Atlanta to South Bend, Indiana.

With a half hour before boarding time, I determined to find that license. I backtracked my steps to security, where they checked everywhere, to no avail. They did give me numbers for Lost and Found to call later, if it did not turn up.

Heading back to the gate, I started to pray, “Jesus, help me find it! Make it appear. Make it appear to me where I can see it!”

Stepping back into the gate area, I was still praying. Suddenly a huge shaft of light glinted at just the right angle to shine onto a small card on the floor under the seats! Like a beam off the facet of a jewel, it particularly lit up something that looked like a picture in the corner!

I ran over and stuck my head down into the space between the seat and the back. “There it is!” I yelled. “I’ve been looking for this!” I started throwing down my bags so I could crawl under, when a little boy wriggled his way to it and handed it to me.

“Praise God!” I exclaimed unabashedly and people around me smiled, as I carefully put away the errant license and made ready to board.

But the story does not end there. Because of especially bad storms and lightning in Philly, we sat on the tarmac two hours and I missed my connection in Atlanta.  The airline then put me up overnight in a hotel off the grounds. Having left the airport, how could I have made the flight next morning without my driver’s license to get through security?

Additionally, with the weather that dark and stormy, how did a gigantic shaft of light stream through the large window to reveal the whereabouts of my license? I feel even more strongly now in the power of prayer for the little things in life. They show the presence of God as clearly as the big ones.