Editorial: The many faces of courage

Revive October 2013 Front Cover resizedPutting this issue of Revive together has forced us to think about what ‘Courage’ really means – and who are we to say whether someone has shown courage or not?

While trying to find the right cover for the edition, we came across a heap of pictures of courageous beings: knights in shining armour, army tanks, you get the picture. We could have chosen an  image of a lion – king of the jungle – but as you can see we went with a courageous little penguin. Standing up to a bigger breed of penguins, we thought this little guy epitomised  Christian courage.

And I wonder, what is this little penguin standing up to? Injustice to its fellow penguin? Injustice to someone else? The right to pass? Perhaps its not standing up to injustice at all;  perhaps it is asking for help.

In his theological reflection, Robert Dummermuth has also been wondering about the attributes of courage – what’s the difference between  courage and stupidity? And as he shows, sometimes it can be a fine line.

Dianne Jensen explores the act of forgiving – a trait which can be tremendously courageous. As we read in that article, forgiveness is not always as easy as it sounds.  Sometimes it might feel like we are letting someone get away with an horrendous act. But Dianne writes, that’s not what it’s about: it can be about healing and letting yourself move  on. And that takes a lot of guts.

This edition of Revive is packed with stories of people showing courage in a range of ways. Courage that comes in many forms. We don’t have to be fearing for our life to show  courage, we don’t have to be strong or powerful. Sometimes it takes time for courage to appear, and as Rev Tom Wilson points out sometimes courage is shown in the risks  we take.

Maybe someone you know is acting courageously while feeling the complete opposite. An act of courage could rip a life apart – Tammy Solonec can tell you about that.  After fleeing domestic violence she entered a heartbreaking battle to get her kids back, followed by a difficult process of healing.

Take a look around your world over the next few  months. Who is courageous in your life? Honour that courage – they might not even realise how courageous they are.

Until next time,
Heather Dowling

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