What does 'BRAVE' look like? Does it have a face, a reflection, a Wikipedia page? To be brave is an adjective, bravery is an abstract noun. Is bravery something you want to be known for?
Crime, disrespect, inhuman acts of disregard for basic human rights bombard our news and media in a stream of tumult every waking minute of our day. We watch it, discuss it, analyze it, create video games to mimic it. When we've thought we've heard it all, something else rises, something else terrorizes, something else slanders, something else steals away dreams. Cowards get the headlines.
In contrast, we search for the stories, the connection to human kindness, the rescues, the pay-it-forward moments to help us remove the ugly reality of our world. In those stories, bravery usually resides and heroes walk among us.
They don't know they are brave, but I see bravery everyday in the special ed kids I work with.
I know a young woman suffering with chronic CF. She registers each semester for school, achieving 6 AA degrees and a certificate in photography, even though she is frequently hospitilized. Recently, she received the news that she's been waiting to hear, listed on not one, but two transplant lists at two major L.A. area hospitals. The plan is for a double transplant, her lungs and her liver.
We all know first responders, teachers, missionaries, mothers of teenagers...all of them, BRAVE.
In light of this weekend, tonight I ask you...Do you know a soldier? Can we set aside some time to share human stories of service, of brotherhood, of loyalty, of sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend? Can we honor them, say a prayer, make a phone call, write a note, put out our flags?
I know a special mom of a soldier. Her name is Tammie. Her son, Sgt. Josh Ashley was killed July 19th, 2012 by an IED in Afghanistan. THIS IS WHAT BRAVERY LOOKS LIKE.
Everyone needs courage to face the day, to conquer our fears. to step into the unknown, to move ahead in life. I know in my own life, I do not "hide out" in God's shelter, do not cower behind my beliefs, my convictions, my morals, but ask God to help me soldier on and be victorious. He asks us to DWELL, to live the light of His promises, knowing that His Shadow is a result of His reflection in us. He empowers us to be brave in this ugly world and to inspire bravery in others. The gatekeepers of His Hope and Guidance lead us through in the Holy Spirit. I cannot begin to compare any brave thing I have done to what our soldiers endure everyday, to what sacrifices have been made throughout our history to allow me the freedom to write this blog and post it. I am grateful. God bless our fallen heroes, our troops everywhere in the world.
Father God, thank you for our troops! I especially pray for the moms and dads, the brothers and sisters of those soldiers who gave their all, who came home broken, wounded, who are missing in action. Lord, thank you for their service, their willingness to fight for freedom. Thank you and bless their families with Your goodness and mercy and peace. May bravery be found in all of us and may we call upon you as we dwell in the shelter of your saving grace and in the shadow of your enduring love. Amen.
|In memory of a brave soldier, Sgt. Josh Ashley and his soldier partner, Sirius|