Today is a day when I wish I had what someone else has. I wish I had her discipline, his calm, their happiness. Today I wish my hand was in someone else's, palm to palm, and I could walk along in this rainstorm and with that smile (You know the one), the rain is dripping down the edges of my foggy window, and there isn't a promise of sunshine for the next 36 hours, and I'm remembering how much I want my own... that moment, or that person, or that certainty. I wish for clearer skies, for confidence, for Your voice over me.
I read today that You said, "Fortifiez-vous et ayez du courage! Ne craignez point et ne soyez point effrayés devant eux; car l'Éternel, ton Dieu, marchera lui-même avec toi, il ne te délaissera point, il ne t'abandonnera point." or "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (from Deuteronomy 31.6)... And Lord, I want to know - how do I believe this?
Here is what I want, the desire that sings in the birdcage of my heart even on the days when I deny it: I want to be courageous.
One day last week my friend and I were talking about our favorite virtues. He asked me what mine was, and though I flirted with "patience" or "hope" or even, "love" - my answer was courage.
Courage. Because it looks at mystery without fear. Because it sings about hope. Because the courageous person trembles but does not waver. Because courage is always listening for Him.
The courageous person is a listening person. The courageous person gulps, settles into the chair, with nothing but the question, and then waits for an answer. And maybe the answer will make us laugh, because of its simplicity. Or maybe the answer will make us wonder, because of its mystery. Or maybe it will make us throw our hands in the air in frustration and admiration, all mangled together in our soft human selves.
I want to be courageous. I want to be brave. You, dear reader, already probably know that Narnia teaches me some of the most important things I've learned about God in my still young life. One of the moments in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when all seems like it might be lost. They are sailing through the shadow valley of lost dreams. And it says, "Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting-top and whispered, "Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now." The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little - a very little - better... An albatross...circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow... But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, "Courage, dear heart," and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's."
So, Lord, I return to my journals, to the ones I wrote in Italy when Your voice was so bright and loud, and I remember how You whispered, "Courage, dear heart" over and over until I was filled with it. I promise to remember. I promise You courage.
Love, from all the wonder inside me,