"There are so many ways to be brave in this world.
Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life
for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else.
Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known,
or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain,
and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now."
Veronica Roth, Allegiant
Perhaps I think too much; I wonder. Thoughts stick in my head; go 'round and 'round...not that I worry but I think and think about them.
One that doesn't go away is: how brave am I? How much courage do I, would I have when it comes to standing up for what I believe?
I've never been challenged to lay down my life for a thing or person. I've changed my life drastically, left family...friends; especially touched me to leave my mother. Moving to China was not frightful; nor was introducing God to the Chinese when it was forbidden. We did it for the sake of something greater.
And what came of it? Many who never knew Him became well acquainted and He's now their Father...like M...like me! If we hadn't gone perhaps someone else would've but that's beside the point...we went...and we stayed. Through the good times...through the SARS times when the other Americans left. Our care was heavenly...all the way!
I'm no heroine but death looked me in the eye...not once but twice. Once w/o Michael...once with...the with is better...I wasn't afraid. I suppose I was too ill to be afraid...that seems to be when I am the strongest. Again, my care was heavenly...all the way!
It's a no-brainer when things are going 'my way' but oops! It's quite a different take when there's opposition...what if I'm wrong; don't like egg on my face or mud in my eye...what ever!
The news often has 'show and tell' concerning ISIS; their practice of killing Christian's...lives on the line if they don't recant and convert. Off with their heads or other heinous forms of disposal.
I wonder...what would I do...could I turn my back on my faith?
What about Malala, the young Pakistani girl who stood up for her right as a female to be educated? Fifteen years old; the Taliban forbade girls to attend school...no education for them. She fearlessly blogged her opposition to the edict (under another name) and continued attending school. One day, as she was returning home from school, a gunman boarded her bus...shot her in the head. They were that afraid of a young girl with books!
You know her story...among other honors she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize...she has spoken at the U.N. and she continues being the voice of all girls like her. Early on she delivered a bold speech... "How Dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education." Talk about brave? Brave indeed, Malala!
Michael and I are reading the book written by the Brantly's, "Called for Life."
I don't think you need much background on this couple and their struggle with Ebola.
Dr. Kent Brantly & his wife, Amber
It takes courage to do what many are doing in foreign countries...here at home as well. I've read some words that condemned Dr. Brantly for bringing 'his Ebola' to the U.S. for treatment...discounting his heroism as it put his countrymen at risk. I think it heroic for anyone who chooses to remain in a 'lion's den', if you will...when one could be home with some semblance of safety! These days are there any safe havens?
These are just two examples of the many with hearts full of courage and brave deeds. There are courageous people all around you and me...lots and lots of them. Friends, neighbors...ordinary people doing extraordinary things...locally, nationwide...near...some are far, far away in strange places.
Getting back to up close and personal...when the rubber meets the road, am I a chicken or a brave-heart?
I asked Michael what he thought about this...what if push came to shove and you were commanded to deny God and convert to................? If you chose to stand up for your faith in the face of death, could you do it? His reply was "I don't know...I can only hope I would but...in reality, I just don't know."
I think I'm probably the same ~ I like to think I'm brave...I like to think I would positively refuse to deny my God...but...as yet, this is not reality...not yet.
I dislike arguing/debating...but facing strong opposition I like to think I would stand up for what I deem right...regardless of the consequences.
I admire Abraham Lincoln; I believe he was on target with these words;
"Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm."
Truthfully? I'm thinkin' my feet are in the right place...but...my 'firm' is more of a quiver!
Wishy-washy won't do, will it? Might be my turn for courage...might need to go for it!
What do you think?
From my heart...to yours,