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Monday, October 15, 2012

Pastorgraphs: “Face of Courage”

E-Vangel Newsletter

October 15, 2012

Pastorgraphs: “Face of Courage”

Malala has wisdom beyond her years, realizing what few teenage girls are forced to confront. She sees what an education for girls will mean for her country for centuries to come. This is in contradiction to the Taliban’s dogma. Yet she stood her ground, even to the point of death. That is the epitome of courage.

If you want to know what courage looks like, take a good look at Malala Yousafzai. (Photo courtesy Wikipedia.) She is the 15 year old Pakistani girl the Taliban shot for the crime of writing a blog (the same thing I am doing right now) challenging their fundamentalist view that girls do not deserve the right to an education.
While I am sure there are 15 year old girls in the USA who have courage, I wonder how many would have the same kind of  courage Malala demonstrated. I fear too many of us, young and old, spend our days LOL’ing with our BFFs, hardly looking away from our smartphone long enough to carry on a real conversation, much less standing up to tyranny and injustice.

I think of children in places like Haiti and Africa who have no school to attend at all. Because we enjoy so many blessings and freedoms, which we routinely take for granted, I wonder how many Malalas there are in the United States. Maybe she is the only one in the whole world. A genuine original, and a worthy role model. In my book on integrity, I identify courage as one of the ten core virtues necessary for integrity. Not since Tiananmen Square in 1989 have I seen such courage. Malala’s picture will now reside in my Hall of Courage next to the solitary Chinese man standing in front of the Communist tanks in Tiananmen Square, courageously defying them to squash him rather than force him to live in tyranny.

Each virtue has at least two vices; the excess of the virtue, and the absence of the virtue. Cowardice is the vice of courage. Malala is no coward.

One of my seminary professors way back in the early 1970s said, “A fundamentalist is someone who will kill you while firmly believing he is doing God a favor.” No doubt the person who pulled the trigger that shot Malala was a fundamentalist of this order. Deepak Chopra warns, “Walk with those seeking truth... RUN FROM THOSE WHO THINK THEY'VE FOUND IT.”

Christianity is not devoid of our own fundamentalists. Not all assassinations occur with guns and bullets. I have witnessed far too many character assassinations between liberals and conservatives, going both ways.

I thank God for Malala, and pray for her recovery. I pray for her family who must be going through an awful nightmare.

May Malala serve as a reminder to us the next time we see injustice, and are tempted to look the other way, or say that is not my responsibility. May we learn from her that courage sometimes requires putting our lives and our sacred fortunes on the line; that some things are worse than dying.

May you recover and live a long life as a walking testimony to courage. May God be with you.

Brother Bill

From the Quote Garden:
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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