Breathe in the Inspiration – Day 9 of Handmade



I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.
– Rosa Parks

Day 9 Inspire

For the hanged and beaten. For the shot, drowned, and burned. For the tortured, tormented, and terrorized. For the abandoned by the rule of law. We will remember. With hope because hopelessness is the enemy of justice. With courage because peace requires bravery. With persistence because justice is a constant struggle. With faith because we shall overcome.

I was fighting back tears.

We hadn’t even paid to enter the museum yet. But standing there in front of the cashier, I wanted to just hug her and cry.

I am white. She is black.

And I’m at the entrance to The Legacy Museum.

It’s the brainchild of Bryan Stevenson, the inspiring lawyer who heads the Equal Justice Initiative and author of the everybody-must-read-this-book Just Mercy.

The location itself is chilling.

The museum is built on the site of a warehouse that once housed slaves in Montgomery, Alabama. Montgomery was the capital of the domestic slave trade in Alabama. And Alabama was among the top two slave-owning states in the United States.

That should be enough to make anyone cry.

But it gets worse. Once inside, we listened to holograms of former slaves inside jail cells, shackled and worn. They told their stories. They pleaded for our help.

We then walked past exhibit after exhibit of hard things, horrible things, things that should never have happened.

Yet they did.

It doesn’t end with the past though. The museum continues forward into this era of mass incarceration.

You can sit across the table with a video of a prisoner. Pick up the phone, and he tells you his or her story. You’ll cry again.

We later walked through The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. It’s dedicated to the thousands of lynched African-Americans.

If a lynching was documented in your county of the U.S., there is a heavy steel monument hanging from the ceiling with your county’s name and the names of the lynching victims.

There are over 800 monuments here, representing over 800 counties in America where over 4,000 human beings were documented to be lynched by other human beings.

That doesn’t include the undocumented. Only God knows that number.

lynching memorial

I looked for my county. It was there. 3 names.

  • Daniel McBride
  • Joe Harris
  • Alex MacDonald

I wondered about their stories. About their mamas. About their children…and the children they didn’t get to have because their lives were cut short by lynching.

On the other side of the structure are corresponding steel columns laid in rows on the ground. These are only temporary. They are there until a representative of each county claims their monument and establishes one on their own soil.

Raise Up Memorial for Peace and Justice

“Raise Up” sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas on the grounds of the Memorial for Peace and Justice

We then left Montgomery and drove to Selma, Alabama. We walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

It’s another very sobering site.

rosa parks

the Rosa Parks magnet now on my fridge that I bought in Selma

Our history has multiple dark chapters.

Yet God always brought hope. And little by little, with hope came change. And with change came healing.

God never stops breathing into his children.

He inspires them to never give up.

He emboldens them to always move forward. Despite the darkness. Despite the pain. Despite the affliction.

Keep breathing him in. Be inspired. Press on.

Three Questions

Here are our three questions of the day:

(1) What book have you read more than once?

(2) What speaker or pastor or friend inspires you?

(3) What is God inspiring you to do in this season? 

* * *

What are your answers? Please share in the comments.

My answers

(1) Desiring God and Future Grace and The Power of Now

(2) This week I’m inspired by the courage of “Science Mike” (Mike McHargue). He’s begun telling his own story of being sexually assaulted, even though he’s not ready to tell it fully now. Or maybe ever. It happened years ago. And that makes no difference. Listen to episode 163 of Ask Science Mike, Sexual Violence. He’ll inspire you, too.

(3) God is inspiring me to lean in to hear hard stories and to look for ways to make a difference, however small they seem.

More here

  • How to Stay Soft in a Hard World
    She’s seen so much badness. Yet, she’s still touched enough to cry for this bride. She still has a heart. Where can I get one like that?
  • Hey You, Overweight Runner
    Hey you, overweight runner. You’re my hero today. When we see somebody doing a hard thing, we are encouraged to do a hard thing, too.
  • Honor the Wounded
    When someone gets hurt for the cause, they deserve an extra salute. Shouldn’t we all participate in their healing? Honor the wounded.

Watch about The Legacy Museum here

Why Build a Lynching Memorial Video

Equal Justice Initiative Racial terror lynching has a legacy that must be confronted.

Watch more videos about the Museum and the Memorial here


Get the whole Handmade series here

Handmade - Finding God in Your Story

17 thoughts on “Breathe in the Inspiration – Day 9 of Handmade

  1. Debbie

    I didn’t know such a museum existed. When we look back at history, I’m amazed by what people have gone through. I think of the spiritual songs many of the slaves sang to sustain themselves and the faith that many clung to. I look at my classroom of little children and teach them that we’re all friends, no matter what color our skin might be. We’re just different shades of brown; some light and some a bit darker. I’ve been inspired by many of the books I’ve read. Besides the Bible, the book I’ve read and reread is “Abide In Christ” by Andrew Murray. It is worn and underlined. It inspires me to stay close to Jesus and allow Him to work in me and through me.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I thank God for people like you, Debbie. Your influence on the young will make so much difference in days to come (and days now too!). You definitely allow Jesus to shine through you.

  2. Pam Ecrement

    This sounds like an important museum to visit. I had not heard of it before. Thanks for sharing this.

    1) Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge … it draws me into greater intimacy with the Lord and gives so many wonderful metaphors from music, books, movies, poems, the Word, etc.

    2) Dr. Diane Langberg – practicing psychologist, board member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, speaks internationally on topics related to women, trauma, ministry, and the Christian life. Also speaks into the deception in the church today and how too many Christian pastors and leaders are ensnared and ensnare others. She has a new book coming out soon on this area of deception.

    3) Be committed to truth seeking and truth speaking in the chaos of the noise of this current age.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Lester Holt of NBC did a broadcast from Montgomery this week. The museum has only been opened since April, but already has had over 200,000 visitors. It’s incredibly sad, but an important part of our history that we need to never repeat.

      Diane Langberg sounds like an author I need to read more of. Thanks for sharing about her, Pam!

  3. Barbara Harper

    What a sobering visit. I am always amazed at man’s inhumanity to his fellow creatures. We think we’re too civilized for such things today, but it’s still there – it just comes out in different forms. How the world needs Jesus – and how those of us who know Him need to keep growing in Him and keep shining.

    1) Oh, I have multiple books I have read multiple times. My favorites tend toward biographies: Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank Houghton, By Searching and In The Arena by Isobel Kuhn, Climbing by Rosalind Goforth, and Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose.

    2) The pastor of the church my husband and I attended the first 14 years we were married continues to inspire me. So does my current pastor’s wife.

    3) I’m writing a book. 42,000+ words so far! Yay!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Amen to your comment, Barbara. We do all need Jesus in every possible way so we can thwart all the different ways that evil twists itself into our societies.

      I’ve read some of those biographies on your list thanks to you. I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read. And I’m so excited you are writing a book. You’ve made real progress! That’s a lot of words so far. 🙂

  4. Laurie

    I just read Just Mercy this summer. It was an amazing book. I loved it! I would love to visit the museum. It reminds me of the verse from 1 Corinthians “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Great verse to add to this, Laurie. Thank you. They are now making a movie about Just Mercy with Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson. I am looking forward to it! Have you read The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton? You’d probably love that one too! It’s a powerful story.

  5. Stacey Pardoe

    This is a very moving post, Lisa. Thank you for sharing.

    In response to your questions:
    1. The Bible is probably the only one 🙂
    2. Our hometown Pastor at Grove City Alliance Church, Paul Renicks
    3. In this season, God is inspiring a very strong focus on FAMILY…really embracing these two little ones and making the most of each moment! It’s blessing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I didn’t think about adding the Bible to my list, but yes, of course! ha. Sometimes the obvious choice is the one I don’t think to mention. And I hope to continue re-reading it. 🙂

      What a beautiful time you must be having as you focus on family and your little ones, Stacey. I’ve spent a lot of intentional time this year with our new granddaughter. I know she won’t remember any of it! ha. But I will. And if I can keep it up, she will eventually start remembering our time together too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t typically reread, but some books are definitely worth rereading. As a child, my youngest daughter was the biggest rereader I ever saw. Her example inspired me to reread more myself. Crossing to Safety must really be good!

  6. Jenifer Metzger

    Wow! I can see why you were moved to tears before even entering. What a chilling and powerful experience.

    (1) What book have you read more than once?
    Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and Lysa Terkeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God

    (2) What speaker or pastor or friend inspires you?
    Lysa TerkEeurst, Priscilla Shirer, my mom (also a pastor), and my husband (also a pastor)

    (3) What is God inspiring you to do in this season?
    Rest, reset, breathe

    Thank you for linking up with us at Woman to Woman’s Word Filled Wednesday!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love that both your mom and your husband are pastors. What a beautiful surrounding. You are blessed, Jenifer. And to be in a season of rest, reset, and breathe. I slow down and breathe deeper just reading those words. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Mari-Anna Stålnacke

    You just inspired me to go to the Legacy Museum. How powerful. Thank you for sharing.
    1) The Bible is my most read book. I keep re-reading it in different translations and it always inspires me. But I do read constantly all kinds of books.
    2) I’m a big fan of Eugene Peterson but there are others too.
    3) Right now I am in a season of preparation for new things to come. I’m called to write and teach about God’s love and grace and it is exciting to see what kind of doors God is opening next.
    Thanks, Lisa, for excellent questions. May God bless you, sis!

  8. Mary Geisen

    The museum sounds phenomenal. What an experience. We have the Freedom Center here and is sounds similar.

    I want to read Francine Rivers, Mark of the Lion series again but haven’t yet.
    Beth Moore and Priscilla both inspire me.
    God is inspiring me to just trust Him in this season and walk in obedience.

    Thanks for this challenge.

  9. Lori Schumaker

    I had no idea this museum existed. There are so many places I would like to take my children to learn yet so they can understand history better – learn from it -grasp the depth of it. And then just as you wrote, see God healing. We often wish we could turn it all around right now and rid every heart of evil and hatred. But it isn’t possible – only when Jesus comes back. Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa! ♥

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