Honestly, how brave are you and how do you even know? I’m fairly sure I’m a big baby and a chubby chicken when it comes to courage and fearlessness, but maybe it’s not a matter of my own bravery after all. In light of a phenomenal book I just finished reading and then the harrowing events in London this week, bravery has been on my mind. What makes us brave when we desperately need to be? And what is bravery anyway?
Definition of bravery: “the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.”
So this is my “not particularly brave” face. Rather unsure. Slightly uncomfortable. But dressed in red, which clearly means I’m super confident and ready for anything, right? Hmmm. As most of you know by now, I’m a Brit. Stiff upper lip, shoulders back, everything’s “fine”, and “keep calm and carry on”. Even back during WW2 (my current obsession for fiction books), it seems a little red lipstick went a long way when under attack! I actually get that—it’s the bravado thing. But my soul’s been stirred with the sorrow and stress in the aftermath of violence and terror in London this week. Doesn’t it just break your heart?
The courage and determination shown by civilians, those in authority, and individuals in leadership have been evident. They won’t be deterred. They are digging deep and standing firm. It’s a stark contrast to the cowardice that initiated such an act, isn’t it?
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
It’s easy to allow fear to take hold. We need only watch the news for an hour and everything seems crazy and unpredictable and just plain scary. If it were down to me and my so-called bravery, I’d be in trouble. But as a Christian, as one who looks to a mighty God as her refuge and strength, I find myself letting go of any lurking or obvious fears and allowing my bravery to trust God. That’s where I can be brave. Even me. Even you.
As I said, all things brave have been bombarding my brain this week, and it was sparked by reading this incredible book…
Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a witty, raw love story set in London during The Blitz. It truly brings to life the sheer horror of surviving in that great city as it all but crumbled to ruins while its people went about their day-to-day existence. Soldiers, civilians, rich, and poor—they endured it all with a bravery I can only imagine. (Lipstick during air raids is involved!) It’s a fiction novel, yet Chris Cleave based it on his own grandparents and spent years researching intricate details to help us understand how bravado transformed to bravery. He even put himself on London Blitz rations for three months to fully enter into his research. No lie. Three months.
(You guys—this is hard core. Suddenly my trip to the Oregon Coast to research my current manuscript sounds kinda lame. I ate a lot of seafood for “research purposes.” How can one compare?!)
The book is ON SALE right now, and if you would like to pick up a copy, here’s my Amazon affiliate link (full disclosure here) which means I get a tiny commission while you pay the regular (current sale) price: EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave. It’s SO good.
Also, If you’d like to check out Chris Cleave’s interview with our wonderful book Yoda, Modern Mrs. Darcy, here’s the LINK. It’s fascinating. Especially if you’re a writer, reader, or like to listen to English accents. 🙂
My point in all this? The Brits had to be brave back in the day, as were countless others the world over, and the Brits are doing the same again right now. We can choose to put on blinkers and pretend all is well, or we can bring it all to a God who cares and loves and longs to give us hope…
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Our time of need is now. Whether you’re concerned about the world your children are growing up in, what your own future might hold, health issues that are plaguing you constantly, or a million other things—let’s pray. Pray for the big stuff, those in authority, those fighting for freedom, those in pain and grieving, and pray for ourselves—that we would be brave enough to trust God. With everything.
That’s where we get to be brave, my friend!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: