Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life requires Bravery...

It seems that no matter what I am reading, watching, or discussing, it becomes more and more evident that just living in today's world requires a great deal of bravery. The roads all feel quite rocky and filled with obstacles, and solutions to problems seldom are simple. We often find ourselves baffled about what to do to make a difference, or even to survive.

My husband and I watched the movie "Invictus" last night. We had not seen it before. I have always been impressed by Nelson Mandela, and this movie made me respect him even more. He was a man who lived and led with bravery. He was brave enough to care, to be kind when kindness was not the norm, and to be forgiving when a lot of forgiveness was needed. His bravery was passed on to a nation that required it to survive. Ours is a nation that requires bravery to survive now, too. It is not the bravery of those with weapons that is needed: it is the bravery of those who will forgive differences of opinion; those who will love unconditionally; those will always act with kindness and generosity. It is the bravery of those who make choices based on what Love and Forgiveness dictates, not on what might and power and wealth try to claim. It is the bravery of those who will speak out for the weaker, the poorer, the uneducated. It is the bravery of those who will demand that we feed and educate and protect those around us. Those brave souls must be us, for who else will be brave if we are not?

Think of the bravery required of Christ in this Holy Week, leading up to the celebration of His resurrection. Even during His final hours, when surely just thinking of His own plight would have required a great deal of bravery, He was thinking of others. He was loving and forgiving.

I have many days when it feels brave enough for me to just to go through my day without doing harm. But it is not brave enough. There is more for me to do. I don't have to lead nations. I don't have to cure the ills of a people or of the world. But I do need to be brave enough to interact with the people God puts in my path with compassion, generosity, forgiveness, and love. And I need to be brave enough to prompt others to follow that path as well. Only if we are all brave, can we make a difference.

Be brave. Be strong and courageous, for you are not alone. Strength will be given to you to do all that God requires. This week, ask for the bravery of Christ in His last week. And expect God to open doors for you to use that bravery, because He will. But He will also walk through those doors with you, and make your efforts more than you could ever hope them to be, on your own.

Nelson Mandela said, "If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness."

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