This is a tribute to “Courage”, and a plea that we continue to recognize and appreciate it in all forms great and small. Courage has been defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. The root of the word courage is “cor”, the Latin word for heart. May we never become oblivious or unseeing to its many forms and manifestations.

In Michael W. Smith’s song “Open the Eyes of My Heart” he asks us to be open to seeing the love of God. It would be well for the eyes of our heart to be open, also, for recognizing and appreciating courage. The Bible itself includes over twenty entries on the topic of courage, citing individuals and situations.

Throughout modern history we have seen many opportunities to witness courage and bravery. In 1956 John F. Kennedy is credited with writing Profiles in Courage, profiling eight United States senators. These men, he felt, exemplified in a variety of circumstances, doing the morally right thing despite potential consequences. In the heartbreaking events of September 11, 2001, we saw the incredible bravery and courage of firefighters, police, medical teams, and civilians.

With the current social media infatuation with organizations such as Facebook, Tiktok, Pinterest, and Instagram, a recognition and appreciation of true courage seems to wane. While wearing masks is an important tool in combating COVID 19, it inhibits our ability to clearly see those around us, and what they might be enduring.

Sometimes courage is dramatic, profound, and resounding. Sometimes it is quiet, enduring, and relentless. In any case, we can be sure we are caught, as Rich Mullins says in “The Love of God”: “caught in the raging fury that they call the love of God.”

So here’s to the courage of:

*Doctors, nurses and medical staff who work every day in close proximity to deadly diseases, such as COVID 19

*Essential workers at every level who constantly risk health and safety to accomplish their many tasks

*Police, fire and rescue personnel whose daily work involves a myriad of unknown, unexpected challenges

*Individuals and families continuing to struggle with financial and food insecurities to meet basic needs

*Victims of cancer and other conditions facing ongoing chemo, radiation, and other treatments without assurance of positive outcome

*Military personnel at home and abroad facing danger and insecurity to protect the security and freedoms we enjoy

*Individuals living in isolation, protected from disease, yet devoid of significant human contact

Among the many quotes attributed to Mother Teresa is:

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

May one of our “small things” be a greater sensitivity and appreciation for the courage of others, and may we become more aware of modeling it for others.