I believe in holy courage, a God-given, Spirit sustained tenacity that helps us through life’s many and varied challenges. When I watch the mother of one of my son’s classmates walk with difficulty down the hall of their elementary school I realize in an instant that her MS has gotten worse and I believe: It takes holy courage for her to get up and pack lunches and take her kids to school everyday. When I see a young man riding an old, clearly too small bicycle, a grocery bag filled with his lunch swinging from a handle at 7am everyday and going in the opposite direction at 5:30 every evening, riding in 95 degree heat or in the pounding rain I believe: It takes holy courage for him to get on that bike everyday, peddling with his knees to his chest, perched dangerously on the shoulder of the road as cars and trucks speed by oblivious to his presence.
When I remember two sisters enrolled in a program for abused children I am convinced of the innate power of holy courage. They were three and four and by the time they entered the program they had suffered years of unspeakable abuse at the hands of their mother’s pimp. There was a large playhouse in the room and every week, time after time, they would find a way to climb to the top of that house. Then they would call fearfully for help and jump as we rushed across the room and to catch them. I wondered why we didn’t get rid of the playhouse and put a stop to this dangerous game. I mentioned this to the therapist one night. She said, “Oh, no. This game is important for them. It is helping them heal.” I gave her a questioning look so she explained further, “They need to know that they can take a risk and that someone will help them.” They were practicing their hard earned holy courage.
I believe in the power of holy courage. I believe in the holy courage that helps us walk slowly, painfully down the elementary school hall. I believe in the holy courage that compels us to climb to the top of the playhouse and jump because we HAVE to know that someone will catch us. I believe in the holy courage that sustains us everyday as we get on that rickety, too small bicycle of faith and peddle, peddle in the heat and in the rain and in the cold, clinging stubbornly to the shoulder of the road, not worrying about the tractor trailer trucks that speed past leaving us shaking in their drafts. I believe in the holy courage that keeps us riding on.
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