“Courageous in God’s Eye”
(by The Revd. Theodora Nmade Brooks)
Whenever we witness or are told about an incredible act of courage, we celebrate and cheer the individual(s). But often as we do so, deep within us is a silent insistent voice telling us that we are NOT as strong or courageous! It is easy to assume that, unlike us, these heroes are gifted. Holy Scripture is full of heroes, people whom we think had incredible spiritual gifts that we mere mortals do not have. Or so we think.
The definition of courage is, “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” If this is the case than we can breathe a sigh of relief because this definition expands our narrow understanding of who can be a hero and who is courageous. What we do not see in the media, nor does our inner critic consider, are those agonizing moments when you and I toss and turn questioning God, questioning our next steps, trying to rationalize and agonizing over whatever situation in which we find ourselves. Do we really think Abraham immediately started packing when God told him to leave his community? Did Nicodemus go to see Jesus that night because it was his only free evening? “No” to both questions.
They had to face their doubts and fears and that took courage! The assurance from God we find in Psalm 121 reads like a mantra someone in ancient times repeated over and over in order to face their own fears, and to this day we continue to recite it in times of fear and doubt.
Friends you may not make the news but you ARE courageous! Do you remember times when you felt so alone, agonizing nights when the walls were the silent witness to your prayers, confusion, sense of hopelessness, and tears? What about those times when you dreaded making a certain call or having THAT conversation? It takes a whole lot of courage to be in a tough place and deal with hard decisions and circumstances. Abraham did not immediately call the moving company, nor did Nicodemus confidently walk over to Jesus’ house. They struggled, and thank God they did!
As we continue our Lenten journey, take time to remember those times in your life when YOU struggled and forgive yourself for not seeing how strong and courageous you were! There were not cameras, only silence; no confetti, just our tears; no adoring crowds, only our fears and insecurities. Yet, that’s alright because in the eyes of God we are courageous, strong, and quite capable of withstanding fear and difficulty! Yes, a person running into a burning building and bringing out a child is courageous and a hero. But guess what? So are you!
Rector’s Corner: Welcome back to The Revd. Sue Foley- Currie! Thank you for leading our Sunday Services. I encourage you all to extend your usual hospitality to our former minister.
Our People’s warden and I met with a “potential” new member of our parish congregation. I thought we had a very fruitful and prayerful meeting. We have discussed a few topics related to family relationships and to our church life. Perhaps, you may consider joining our pastoral team and offer some support, prayers and presence to people who need spiritual counsel particularly this Lenten season.
I also would like to share with you about our Wednesday Mid-Day Prayer. We started last week and to me it was a rewarding moment to pause for a few minutes in the middle of our busy lives and pray to God. We invite you all to join us next Wednesday, 10:00am, in the church sanctuary.
I have had the time to visit again a member of our parish. Please continue to offer healing prayers for all people mentioned in our prayer list. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts.
If I may remind you, our parish vestry passed a motion to start looking into the possibility of hosting a community garden in the church grounds. Next Sunday, Parish council meets. If you have any thoughts about this, please send them to the wardens or to any member of church council.
Again, to protect ourselves and other people in the church, please wash your hands when you come in to the church prior to communion. Please avoid intinction (the action of dipping the bread in the wine/chalice at holy communion) as part of our safety measures. Thank you!