Are you the one?

Please Lord, help me get one.

I woke at 5a this morning, ready to rise and shine. I’m staying with my bff in Madison, Virginia, near the base of the Shenandoahs. The house is quiet at this hour. I tip-toe out the room and start the coffee. I tip-toe out the front door with Justice. Good morning, world.

The sky is still dark but alive with singing. Crickets, cicadas, frogs? I wish I knew the source of my serenade. I stand on the front porch and close my eyes. The singing fills the air and wraps around me, amplified. I feel it penetrate my tired bones and rouse me gently. I take a deep breath in, hold… and let it out again.

I tip-toe back inside and pour my coffee. I settle myself at the kitchen table with my journal. The TV is still playing in the window room beside me, and I recognize the scenes of Hacksaw Ridge. The battle is just beginning. I know what happens. It’s brutal. It’s ugly. And in the face of defeat, the conscientious objector calls upon an unseen force, “What do you want me to do?” and “Please Lord, help me get one more.”

I see the faces of women, their bodies strung out on the battlefield. Wounded. Alone in their suffering. My heart cries softly, “What do you want me to do?” and “Please Lord, help me get to one.”

I had no idea when I went on walkabout that my journey would produce a book. I had no idea when I began my book that my journey would produce a movement. But as healing comes, healing gives. The more I speak with women, the greater my resolve to hear more deeply, to help dress the wounds, and to facilitate a move to safety, where radical healing can take place.

Are you the one?

As the morning rises, the night songs give way to the day. Birds call. The pattering of rain drops on leafy green. The porch swing sways. The dew hangs on the air. I tip-toe barefoot in the grass and welcome what is to come. My inbox is open and ready to receive you.

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Your #hero within

What do these three movies have in common?

I have seen three great hero movies recently. Edward and I saw Wonder Woman at the theater on opening weekend, about a week later we rented Hacksaw Ridge from the Redbox, and most recently watched Disney’s Moana with nary a child to accompany us ;). All of these were classic hero tales – opening with the age of innocence, followed by the call to duty, perseverance in peril, facing an “insurmountable” obstacle, disillusionment at seeming defeat, the climactic epic battle, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.

Hacksaw Ridge poster

What is it that draws us to hero movies? My personal theory is that we each want to believe we have a hero within. We need to believe that when the chips are down we would rise to the occasion with great courage and integrity like Diana Prince, Private Doss, and the Polynesian princess. I’d like to think so too. I’d like to think I am living in a world among heroes.

What I find to be true is that people don’t always act their best under pressure. Stressful situations don’t always bring out our greatest qualities. These are typically not our finest hours as we would hope. We have difficulty overcoming self-doubt and pain. Instead of rising up, we say and do things that do not exemplify our most heroic selves. This can be a crushing blow, and the worst part is that this blow is delivered by our own hand.

Moana-Poster

But I still believe I am living in a world among heroes. The common factor I find in the lives of heroes is this – one who acts as a hero under pressure is one who has acted as a hero in the mundane. Cultivating heroism in our everyday lives is the key to being ready and able to act with courage and integrity in that defining moment.

What is your most memorable example of a person cultivating heroism in everyday life?