May 26, 2011-- Looking out the window, James Zwerg accepted his worst fear: He was going to die today. Only the night before, Zwerg had prayed for the strength to not strike back in anger. He was among the 18 "Freedom Riders", white and black college students from Nashville who had decided to take the bus trip through the segregated South in 1961, to desegregate public transportation. In the midst of the ensuing savage violence, Zwerg says he had the most beautiful experience in his life. "I bowed my head," he says. "I asked God to give me the strength to remain nonviolent and to forgive the people for what they might do. It was very brief, but in that instant, I felt an overwhelming presence. I don't know how else to describe it. A peace came over me. I knew that no matter what happened to me, it was going to be OK. Whether I lived or whether I died, I felt this incredible calm." (3946 reads)
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