I see the word prompt, and I feel the dread rise because how do you write brave? For that is the stuff of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Corrie Ten Boom and Mother Teresa and those putting themselves in the way of harm and releasing slaves and risking life and laying it down to speak and to save.
If I’m honest, I fear that I will minimize bravery by talking about everyday types among the relatively comfortable. The kind of bravery that is sometimes more about simple truth telling and kindness and ordinary acts of love.
I look up the definition of brave and see two from Merriam Webster: the first, having or showing courage (courage being the ability to do something that frightens one) and the second, making a fine show.
That second one makes me feel a little sick because I want nothing to do with the type that’s veneer and bravado (bravery gone puffed up with self), but that first definition seems the heart of brave and for all of us.
To do something that frightens. Yes, I’m guessing we all know a thing or two about this.
I recall conversations this week — one with a mom as our children played, in which I translated some of the pain I’ve grown to know a bit more through our church’s dialogues about race. I spoke about lack of access and definitions of “success,” wondering if she might reject me for speaking into the middle of our entitled circle. (Small, but honestly frightening for me in that moment.)
I think of the intense conversation our family shared around the dinner table when young friends challenged the bags we give to those in need on the side of the road, how I worried our girls would back down and instead saw them take a stand as they shared from hearts about why we do what we do.
“Everyone needs love and kindness,” J said. “That’s why.”
I think of the extraordinary and the everyday….bravery, all.
Geesh, five minutes passed far too quickly. That took me longer than five minutes, and I just brushed the side of brave. So many types of bravery, friends. Truth telling, tenderness, sitting with those in pain, choosing to be invested in the sorrows of the world, receiving love even when you feel undeserving, listening, letting go, forgiving, asking forgiveness, climbing the hill, doing the next right thing to help, putting one foot in front of the other. What is your brave today?
Joining this morning with the Five Minute Friday community at Lisa-Jo‘s where we write for five minutes, refrain from extreme editing and encourage one another’s offerings of free flowing words. Join us? Today’s prompt: BRAVE.