For one year, Ruby Bridges, 6, sat in a classroom alone.
She was the first black student to attend a white school in New Orleans in 1960, and every morning she was escorted by U.S. Marshals past a crowd of 200 white adults, who screamed death threats and obscenities at her.
One morning, her teacher, Mrs. Henry, noticed that Ruby was speaking as she walked past the mob. She asked Ruby what she was... saying.
"I was praying."
"Were you praying that the people wouldn't hurt you?"
"I was praying that I would be strong and not afraid, and I was praying for them."
Later that day, Mrs. Henry mentioned the conversation to Robert Coles, a psychiatrist who specialized in assisting the children of communities under stress.
Dr. Coles asked Ruby, "Why would you pray for those people?"
"Well, don't you think they need praying for?"
One thing is sure. Ruby Bridges' prayer for strength was answered.
May we all learn from the example Ruby set when she was only six years old.