fearlessness vs courage

This morning while I was folding clothes and making beds, I kept imagining how Jesus must have felt. On this day so many eons ago. Good Friday. The Friday before Easter.

While matching socks, I realized Jesus must have felt afraid on Friday.  Because he knew what was coming. And because he knew exactly what he was doing.

That led me to reflect on a conversation my friend, Melinda, and I had yesterday about fearlessness. And the irony of thinking that any human is fearless. We think of courage as fearlessness but nothing could be further from the truth. Courage is feeling afraid and doing it anyway.

I think that’s what Jesus did on Good Friday. He stepped into the darkness full of courage.

While we’re apt to want to paint our life in Easter colors, bright and shiny, life is full of dark places. The kinds of dark places the make life heavy and confusing and entirely un-Easter-ish. Things like:

  • accepting uncomfortable truth about our real selves and our insecurities
  • forgiving people who wound us and violate trust our trust
  • accepting that bad things happen, all the time, outside of our control

These are the some of the dark things. The kinds of things that rush over us with such force, they nearly topple our hallelujah song. The things that eventually land us in a counselor’s office, sorting out feelings that get in the way of courageous living.

The very good news is when we fully embrace the man acquainted with sorrows ~ the one who walked weak but willing into the darkest places, we learn courage. And we embrace an honest life. A light life.

You may be afraid. Do it anyway.

… we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust. ~ Pope Benedict XVI