I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Have you ever watched HBO’s “Band of Brothers?” I realize this might not be a show that a lot of women would be interested in watching, but I found it particularly haunting and beautiful at the same time. It follows a unit of paratroopers during World War 11. My father loved history, and spent many hours talking to me about the wars America lived through.
In a time that feels unstable and particularly tumultuous for our country, I found myself reflecting on the values my father taught me as we watched “Band of Brothers” together. After each episode, we would talk about leadership, strength in adversity, sacrifice, honor, and bravery. We conversed about the idea of courage and the fact that courage can only be present in moments we feel fear. Courage is revealed in moments of uncertainty. Faith is tested in trials of the unexpected. The one thing my father always made clear to me was this: We choose who we are going to be in these moments.
We choose to let fear weaken and eat us alive, or we stand up to Evil and say “Not on my watch.”
As I experience our United States become divided states, I find myself asking more and more, what will I allow on my watch? Will I allow myself to watch in disgust as hatred takes root and not love my neighbor? Will I allow myself to watch in dismay as my friends fall victims to drugs and addiction and do nothing to help? Will I allow myself to judge others for taking advantage of their families while stealing their bread? Will I allow myself to watch my generation fall into the delusion of unsubstantiated promises while relying on the charity of others?
Bravery comes at cost to ourselves. True bravery requires sacrifice and a willingness to believe in something. We all fall into the mirror of Facebook and media and become outraged and fearful of the world falling apart around us. We are all guilty, (I know I am) of living in the delusional mirage we create for the people around us to see. The fabric of our society is shredding at the seams because there is no internal reflection about the strength of our own character, of our own reliability and strength. How can we cast blame on others without first looking at ourselves? Am I showing love in my daily interactions with others? Am I showing patience and grace when I hear a different perspective? Am I willing to give myself to my brother? Am I willing to be brave and say “not on my watch.”? The real test has yet to come, and we cannot fight a war with untested men and women. We must decide who we are going to be in that moment, today.
While the world will continue to show us the greatest of Evil, we must not forget there is the greatest of good within each and every one of us. Be of good courage. Let Him strengthen your heart. Let Him work within you, so you can inspire His works in others. You will have greater impact than you know.
My father and I talked about going skydiving on our beach trip this year. While he won’t be physically present with me, I feel it is important I honor our promise of bravery together. I already knew what I was going to yell on our way down. “Currahee!” I will yell it bravely so he hears me in Heaven. Fear will not win. Not on my watch.
Anna Hull lives in San Antonio, TX. A graduate of Schreiner University with a B.A. in Religion & Political Science, Anna is passionate about finding Jesus in every day life. She enjoys unexpected adventure, making genuine connections with others, and finding beauty in chaos.