It is a lovely virtue – the rib of Himself that God sent down to His children.

James M. Barrie, in Courage

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In today’s predawn darkness, my friend George left for the hospital and surgery. He left without rancor or any sign of fear or apprehension.

George has a mass in his chest, behind his heart.  He will be operated on this morning.  He is 70 and appears in good health.  A Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Chicago, a man with a keen sense of humor.  Despite his rather predictable liberal tilt (which I assign to two things: a life in academia; and, little actual rough and tumble life experience – the absence of which produces such a bent), I like George, but more to the point: I see his courage, a courage produced by faith and a learned recognition that life is mortal before it is eternal.

I have seen such courage in others, and it is always admirable.  It witnesses belief.

My wife Sylvia had such courage. My mother as well. (No wonder they were such friends.)  And in my mother’s parents – my grandparents, and in her brothers: Don and Ray and in their wives.  I have seen it in my friends whose lives were challenged day after day, right from the beginning.

Courage does not come easy to us in the present culture.  That is, those who take up public space do not flash much of a sign of courage.  Oh, they talk – they pontificate, have “grand” ideas to re-make the world.

Fatally, their plans are always to re-make the world in their image – and without having a shred of practical experience in much of anything, no evidence of achievement, or fortitude, or success with complex problems.

This sort mistakes a college education for knowledge.  Without experience, they are without humility or wisdom.  But boy, how they flap their jaw.

Yet, there is George and the other Georges – able to meet serious matters with courage.

Look around, is there anyone fit to lead who cannot show you courage?  And were are you in this matter of courage?

Is not the soul a guest in our body, deserving of our kind hospitality?  Today it is here, tomorrow it is gone.

Hillel, Lev. R. 34.3, c. 5 A.D.

God’s rib.  Give George a prayer today.

Shalom.

By sharing thoughts with others, we witness faith.  You are to help each other. God bless.

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