I am not a particularly brave person, so I spend time studying courageous people and drawing conclusions about their choices and their character to find the source of their strength and stamina. I am blessed to know some brave people. They aren’t famous, but that in no way lessens the practical, inspiring power of their example. In fact for me, it heightens it.
Riding the crest of a brilliant blue wave
Under a sparkling sun,
Onto the sandy shore
In a thrilling adrenaline rush.
No, brave is what happens while you
Paddle the breadth of a set-
In that zone where the waves seem intent
On pounding your dream right out of you
Or at least knocking you silly and sore.
The delightful valley of Where I Want to Be
With cheerful companions,
A spring in your step,
And a song in your heart
Because all is as it should be.
This is a lovely season,
But it doesn’t demand you be brave.
No, brave is traveling the steep and solitary path
Because this is where you are.
Brave is holding your ground
When the ridge line narrows
And every ounce of you
Wants to scramble down to safer slopes.
Brave has to happen
Because happily ever after
Doesn’t always follow disappointment
Like it does in a Disney film,
With foot tapping, sing-a-long melodies.
Brave is often very quiet
And exceedingly easy to miss.
But brave is beautiful.
Brave is a low-burning fire
That warms those within its reach-
Its long, inclusive reach.
Brave breaks out of its comfort zone.
Brave hopes while it does the next thing,
And brave can run a really, really long way
Without the finish line in sight.
You don’t need a hefty dose of brave
When you’re traveling temperate lands
Where your dreams mostly come true.
But, if you find yourself
In the midst of a stormier space
Or come face to face with some scraggy terrain,
(And you certainly will-you can count on that)
You can never have too much brave.
Alas, here’s the tricky thing:
You only get it by being it.
You put one foot in front of the other
And you walk.
You give thanks.
You dance when you can
And cry when you must
And you hang on.
You hang on real tight
To the One Who Showed Great Courage
As well as a whole lot of love,
That He might one day put all things right.