This morning I took a break.
I had someone to watch my kids. I had a to-do list a mile long, including a special event that is looming on the horizon, begging for planning. (How and why I keep getting myself into the event-planning business, I do not understand.)
I would like to note that blogging was not included on my to-do list today. But that’s how it goes. I guess.
I returned some pending text messages, Voxes, Facebook messages, and voicemails. I pondered the busyness of our culture, in which we communicate in every way possible to avoid actual out loud conversations (even though I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Voxer is changing lives and communication for the betterment of all humankind). I did all of this while driving, because I’m a really busy person, ya’ll.
A friend of mine and I have been having discussions back and forth across the miles about the possibility of traveling to Africa, of all the things, and this morning’s conversation turned to personal safety. (Hearing about terrorist attacks in international airports will do that.) For me, it came down to this: I don’t think our God calls us to lives of safety and comfort. I have tried hard to find that in the Bible, and I just don’t think it’s in there. He doesn’t seem to want us to treasure our own safety, or life in general, above Him.
Before going into my favorite Organize the Entire Galaxy mode, I purposed to make it through my Bible reading for the day. I put in my earbuds and turned on Amazon Music to drown out the noisy coffee shop. As I delved into Acts chapters 23 and 24, I read about the unjust mistreatment of the Apostle Paul as he faced literal trials before Roman officials and Jewish leaders, beatings, and imprisonment that went on for years. I imagined him waiting and waiting, wondering if God was ever going to let him out of that prison. In my imagination, maybe Paul questioned what the heck God was thinking, maybe he wondered if God had forgotten him. Probably not. I mean, he was Paul. He had visions and a really tight relationship with the Holy Spirit and all. It might just be me that questions the God of the universe sometimes.
Anyway, as I was reading, this song comes on by Moriah Peters that catches my eardrum. It is aptly titled “Brave.”
Next, this sweet lady comes to sit down by me because she “just felt like she should come talk to me” and almost whispered, “I saw you reading your Bible. Are you a Christian? Where do you go to church?” I said yes and answered her questions, especially gentle not to open any cans of worms. I bet she left wondering why she felt prompted to come and talk to me this morning, why the Spirit asked her to clearly step out of her space and be Brave in this particular instance. I couldn’t fathom why either, in that moment.
This afternoon I had a few moments (literally just moments, as naptime ended early for the little guy), so I thought I might do something extravagant, like reading. I’ve been slowly working through a book by Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission. His book, of course, is called Just Courage. He writes:
“Hope is not simply wishful thinking; it is a fruit of the Spirit born of the spiritual discipline of remembering.”
The Apostle Paul wasn’t just brave. He was well-filled with this fruit of Hope. His Hope caused him to be extraordinarily brave, enough so to give God away to others who are without Hope, no matter the cost.
He is tugging me to step out of my space and into this very same kind of Brave. I pray he is pulling you there, too, so that just like the dear woman in the coffee shop, we can begin, however timidly, to step out into the Brave Spaces he has called us to.