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When Do We Pivot to Being Courageous?

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Which of these best describes how you’ve been feeling this past month? A. Fearful B. Bored C. Anxious D. Courageous I’m guessing not many of you picked “D.”  But God didn’t make us for A, B, or C. God made us to be courageous! That’s one reason Jesus was constantly upbraiding his…
By Seth Barnes

Which of these best describes how you’ve been feeling this past month?

A. Fearful

B. Bored

C. Anxious

D. Courageous

I’m guessing not many of you picked “D.” 

But God didn’t make us for A, B, or C.

God made us to be courageous! That’s one reason Jesus was constantly upbraiding his disciples, saying “Have faith!” and “Fear not!” We were made to go into hard places with his love and bring hope.

Yet, here we’ve been dutifully sitting in our rabbit holes wondering when it’s going to be safe to come out again. 

I’m writing this from Georgia, where our governor threw caution to the wind and said, “OK, you can go get your nails done again or go to a restaurant.” So, we’re poking our heads up out of our holes and wondering if it’s safe. And I frankly can’t tell you.

I just got a phone call from my mother’s retirement home where someone just contracted the virus and is in the hospital. So now they went to Level 5 lockdown for 14 days. And that seems prudent to me. We saw what happened to the nursing home in Seattle. We owe it to our elderly to protect them.

For the rest of us who are younger, who knows if it’ll ever be as safe as we may want it to be? But here’s something that’s true: It’s a lot less safe for others than it probably is for us. And we were made to spend our lives for others, not to hide. When the lockdowns end and we get to make courageous choices again, will we be ready in our spirits?

People are beginning to die of starvation in India and Africa. I am OK. I can do something for them. I personally have decided to pray into the question of “How can I begin acting courageously again?”

I hope you’ll join me in that prayer. Maybe this poem I wrote will be a prayer for you as well.

 

Choose courage

 

Tense and coil the muscles,

Rehearse the moves to match

What you see inside.

Soothe the amygdala.

Prepare to leap.

Comfort will have its place;

After your heart’s bleeding has stopped,

After the blood dries.

When the dream evaporates

And cynicism visits you 

like the slime under a slug.

 

And in that moment,

You’ll feel your spirit

Being hugged back to itself.

You’ll once again know

You’re better than that,

That you just forgot all the times

You’ve saved the world,

And all the ways it

Needs saving now.

 

Once again you’ll remember 

The Nepalese leper woman,

Abandoned by her family.

You’ll remember the way your heart broke

For the girl in Calcutta begging in ripped clothes,

And the Roma child, alone in her trauma,

Her mom an orphan before her,

From a tribe of wanderers shoved to the side,

From a race born to wander this planet, looking for a home.

 

You’ll remember the way their tears pierced your spirit 

And mingled with your own.

You will dive into the breach again.

Your heart is stronger than you know.

You will be their champion.

You were born to choose courage. 

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