You’re so brave, she says.
I tuck behind my ear a strand of blond hair that has escaped my ponytail. I wear no make-up and my feet are bare, my flip flops flipped off as soon as I relaxed in her garden chair.
It’s a warm spring day and although there are still marshmallow mounds of snow scattered in dry, wheat coloured grass, the day calls for flip flops.
It’s a big thing for us northerners, after months of knit socks and snug boots, to bear sun-deprived feet and then don a pair of flip flops.
A piece of heaven on earth.
But I digress.
It’s easy for me somehow, I reply to my friend. Her pink nails tap her coffee cup encased in her palms that cover a Starbucks logo. But then, I elaborate, it’s really not even that brave. It’s actually kind-of comfortable.
Her brown eyes widen.
Yes, bravery to me isn’t solo travel, airline flights to new places, navigating new roads in a rental car, exploring new streets on foot, and figuring out where the Air Bnb is that you booked on line.
Courageous? Maybe. But brave, no.
No, true bravery to me (and some may not agree), is when suddenly there is a call on you, a duty, maybe even unforeseen, with no preparation, and you step in. Bravery is when the call is so strong that saying no feels disobedient, and you say yes even though your life may be at stake.
Bravery is Mary, a young virgin, saying yes to the Lord.
Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Luke 1:38
Bravery is Paul, a converted young man facing those who want to execute him for his past transgressions, on the call of the Lord to speak the good news of the gospel.
“So you know Greek, do you?” the colonel replied. “Aren’t you that Egyptian who not long ago raised a riot and led those four thousand assassins into the dessert”
“I am Jew,” replied Paul. “I am a man of Tarsus, a citizen of that not insignificant city. I ask you to let me speak to the people.” Acts 21:38-39
And BRAVERY is Jesus, the son following the will of His Father even though he knows the cross he will bear will lead to immeasurable suffering.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
I slip my feet back into my flip flops, lean back in my chair, close my eyes and turn my face up to the spring sun. What I glorious day, I say.
I feel my friend’s hand on my arm, warm and soft. Just be careful, she says.
And I still think you are being brave, she comments.
My eyes closed, the sun warm on my face, my lips curl up in a slight smile.
I sure hope so. I do want to step into action when God calls me to something that I cannot say no to out of obedience.
When called, I want to be brave.
And be a bearer of His light in this world.
Psalm 56:3-4 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
What is bravery to you?