What does it mean to be courageous?
Is it the absence of fear?
Never being overwhelmed or daunted?
Never at a loss to know what to do or say?
Never intimidated, self conscious or shy?
A stranger to anxiety, or the sheer reluctance to take one more painful step?
A refusal to even consider that an illness may be serious?
A denial of any danger or possibility of trouble?
Stubborn, unreal maybe but not courageous.
So what is courage?
Taking action, despite feeling sick with fear.
A star shining brightly against the blackness of the night.
Holding on through the uproar of overwhelming and daunting situations.
A flower, pushing through the concrete to bloom alone.
Constantly at a loss to know what to do or say but doing and saying anyway.
A migrant devastated by war and loss, pushing on through unspeakable odds to reach the land of hope.
Jesus praying in agony on the cross, ‘Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’
The mum giving her kids the best life possible after her husband leaves her.
Pressing into that relationship despite feeling intimidated, going into that social situation despite the agony of self-consciousness, saying hello to that stranger despite crippling shyness.
Choosing to trust God’s empowering love even when paralysed by the quicksand of anxiety; Going the way of love when everything calls to hide away, putting one foot in front of the other; keeping a loving heart against the pain, the rejection and the loneliness.
Courage is the willingness to walk a lonely path, to hold onto faith in the face of doubts or derision; to love the unlovely; to face the bad news and know that God is there; to acknowledge the danger or the possible trouble ahead, but despite being afraid still walking that path.
Courage is Jesus; Jesus in me.