Courage

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away the other day after a long and fierce fight with cancer. I think her battle with cancer really just emphasized the way that she lived her life- courage in the face of high odds stacked against her. She was a warrior for what she believed in, and therefore she became a lightning rod for dissent. I did not always agree with her stances, but I admired her tenacity. Clearly, she was ahead of her time- indeed she led her time- in the cause of equality for women in American society.

Much the same can be said for John Lewis, who passed on July 17th. Coincidentally, I was reading the book, The Children, by David Halberstam, when he died. The Children is the story of the young civil rights demonstrators of the early 1960’s. It covers the lives of men and women like John Lewis who, as very young college students, took courageous stands in lunch counter sit-ins, marches, and rallies at which they were often arrested, and at times, beaten. John Lewis suffered at least two significant concussions from beatings, one at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis, a man of strong faith, was willing to risk his life for what he believed. I was moved by the faith that drove Lewis to lay down his life for his cause. His motives were not just political, but rather a drive for social justice informed by his belief in God. Ruth Bader Ginsberg risked her reputation and career in trying to further the causes in which she deeply believed.

Both of these individuals took courageous stands in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable opposition. Both have been controversial in how they took their stands, and I suppose that is the point. People did not need to agree with their stands to see that they had passion and courage, and that they stood for principles which advanced the American way of life.

People who stand against the current tide are often not appreciated until late in their lives, or maybe not until they have long passed. The courage that these warriors possessed is a virtue which serves us all well, whatever side of the political or social spectrum we might land.

America has lost some fierce warriors this summer.

As I end the piece, I want to invite my readers to the treat I promised last week. My daughter, Jennifer Hartwell, will be featured the next two days as we continue the discussion on science and faith. She has some terrific insights into the subject, and I can’t wait to share them with you. So, check in to see the discussion!

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the people that you bring into our lives who encourage us to listen to the better angels of our spirit, Amen  

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