Some Days You Have to Be Brave

The past couple of days have been like that.

No details are needed, except that there are times when all feelings are heightened – sorrow, joy, fear. It’s when you dance across the yard barefoot with your kids and know there will never be another moment exactly like this. It’s when all the gifts are unwrapped on Christmas morning and there’s nothing left but piles of bows and wrapping and an endless day of play. It’s when the wind blows a little to hard, chilling you on a day that should be warm. It’s when you have to wrap your arms around someone and say goodbye for a while.

Today I wore my Avengers sticker, given to me by my son, on my right hand. I wore my Dauntless necklace and thought of Tris from the book Divergent. I read St. Basil’s prayer that says Lord of mercies, who ever workest great and mysterious deeds for us, glorious, wonderful, and numberless. I grabbed a diptych icon of Jesus and Mary from my daughter’s altar and carried it in my purse. I realize that comic book heroes, a YA dystopian novel, St. Basil, and an icon don’t appear to have much in common. Two of the four are fictitious. But I have been influenced by fictional characters my whole life. They taught me to dream, to believe, to question, and to hope.

The saints do that, too. They teach me to hope, to hold on to my mustard seed’s worth of faith. I don’t know what mysterious and numberless deeds God is doing behind the scenes (or perhaps right in front of me and I don’t realize it!), but St. Basil’s words fill me with something I can’t define. Something big, bigger and deeper than me and my doubts and fears. Something beyond the horizon that I can’t fully understand yet.

Maybe it is imagination. Yes, all of my inspirations today give me the gift of imagining. Without it, I could not face the world, or God, or my own self. We must be able to envision the possibility of redemption, of rebirth, of second chances, of spring pushing through the ground after a long, hard winter. Imagination helps me to be brave in the midst of this chaotic world.

“The end is uncertain, and I’ve never been so afraid, but I don’t need a telescope to see that there’s hope, and that makes me feel brave.” – Owl City, Tidal Wave


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