Sam had her hair coloured and styled. It’s very short. She put a sparkly headband in it and wore it that way when she drove to school to meet me for the drive to the city for afternoon appointments.
She is beautiful but she is also brave. It takes courage to hold your head up high when cancer has stripped you of everything. Courage is the only thing that puts you back together. It’s the only thing that strengthens your spirit, that lifts your gaze, that causes you to smile.
Courage is different to faith and hope. It’s a quality that you decide to have. There’s a switch inside you that turns it on. It’s deep in your core and when it’s on, it steadys you.
It acknowledges that this situation is unfair, unexplained, undeserved but you rise anyway. Your mind glimpses a possibility of a future. Courage walks, not in the absence of fear but it walks anyway. It speaks to you in whispers, it tells you, ‘You’re going to get through.’
Courage sees triumph in the presence of giants. Though intimidated, like everyone else, it chooses a different stance. Courage is David with his stones and his sling. It operates in what it knows and disregards what it does not. Courage hears heavens voice that says, “I prepared you for this, do what you know, I am by your side.” Courage acts. It can take Goliath.
Courage has no arrogance. Like love, it doesn’t brag. It simply acts on what it knows and trusts that what it knows will be enough. Courage hears the whispers of the people but continues to walk through the crowd. Courage knows that the battle is great, that all could be lost, that things could get worse but focuses on the goal anyway.
Courage returns with a pole filled with clusters of grapes, with figs and pomegranates but it is not ignorant. It has seen the strong fortified cities; it has seen the enemies that dwell in the land. Courage sees an inheritance where others see defeat. It says, “Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.” Doubt viewed the same land and responded “We were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight.”
Sometimes it seems there will always be another battle but God has given us hope. We take courage on the journey. Tomorrow we go, yet again to spy out the land. We go to the professor to get an explanation of bone scans, thyroid tests, blood tests and fertility tests. There is still so much territory to explore. It is in God’s hands. “If the Lord delights in us then He will bring us into the land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey…The Lord is with us.”