As the world becomes an increasingly and randomly dangerous place, it would be easy to let fear drag me down. I send my sons off every day to a big, soft target called High School. Ted flew to LaGuardia Airport yesterday. I went to a class in Chicago over the weekend and walked thru the Christmas market on my way back to the parking garage. This summer Ted and I were in Paris, not far from where the attacks occurred. We inhabit busy, crowded places where anything could happen. I’m aware of thoughts like, “Maybe I shouldn’t go there. Maybe we should stay home, minimize our exposure.” For each of us, any day could be our last. So far, I continue to go about my work and leisure activities and release my family to go off to theirs, but this awareness of fragility lingers in the background, diminishes my courage.
My friend, Stephanie, blogs about the journey she is on as her young son battles cancer. She recently wrote on what she called “The Hardest Peace.” I just discovered I mis-remembered the title to be “The Hardest Places.” That title may fit as well. You can read her thought-provoking words here: http://thegoodalllife.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-hardest-peace.html. The part that resonated and stuck with me was about her ultimate hope being in heaven, not in healing. She knows she may not have the happily-ever-after story she longs for. Fragility isn’t in the background for her, it is in her face every day. But she continues, one day at a time, to face what the day brings with a supernatural courage.
So I’ll take my cue from Stephanie. My story may not have the happily-ever-after ending that I long for. But rather than succumbing to fear and withdrawing to some place of perceived safety or putting my hope in a politically or militarily procured peace or creating an arsenal in my basement, I will put my ultimate hope in the Prince of Peace. In so doing, I can step out into the world with courage and peace. I invite you to do the same.