Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Being Brave

I heard a speech yesterday that was among the best I have ever heard. I won't give many specifics because the speaker may prefer to remain anonymous. The young lady speaking is only 13 years old. This was the fifth public speech she had ever given. Many of the other speeches in this class had been about things like the 10 strangest creatures in the ocean, the ten most stupid criminals, and even the history of light bulbs. All were fine speeches and appropriate for the class. This young lady spoke about her sadness and fears for her dad who would be going away for a year to a distant land to help defend our country.

She spoke about how she had not dared to think about it, or talk about it, even to herself, because if she admits how sad and frightened she is, she may never stop crying. She talked poignantly about how when her dad was home, she would pretend he wasn't there.... to begin preparing for the reality of him leaving. She feared most of all he might not come back. As the oldest child, she recognized that she was responsible to be strong for her siblings. She said it was particularly hard for her because she relied so much on her father, his wisdom, his love.

Through it all, she said, she was overwhelmed by the love of family and friends, who were trying to help her. She knew that love would hold her family together as they suffered that year without their dad. She felt God had a special mission for her in this trial, and she would listen carefully to discern what she was supposed to do.

I try very hard not to take freedom lightly, to take the duties of citizenship in this great country seriously, duties like voting, volunteer service, civic care and pride. Our freedoms have not been won lightly. So many brave soldiers have fought to secure and defend them. And many very brave children and young people sacrifice perhaps the most.

Deuteronomy 31:6
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."


  1. As the father of a young lady enduring such hardship I can say I am very proud. However I am also very nervous I am not ready for my daughter to grow up that much. Or to feel the weight of that much responsibility. In my eyes she is still the 6 month old that stood in my hands with her hands on my shoulders while I showed her the world around her

  2. But the benefit is she will always grow up so so proud of the daddy that gave so much to her and others. The lesson of sacrifice for others is one of the most beautiful character issues any of us can absorb,and is most explicitly embodied by our Lord, Jesus. Life without trials might be pain-free, but that which is too easily won is also easily forgotten. Love and blessings.