By its very definition, courage emerges when darkness descends.

In a touch of irony, courage reminds us that all is not right with the world.

It speaks to us that this world is indeed filled with good and evil, yin and yang. It’s a world which must, by its very nature, be filled with persons of courage in order that we may have any hope.

Courage is a magnificent “No!” to giving up in the face of pain and struggle in our world. Courage is facing pain and struggle and heartache head on and knowing that we have power to stand.

Just one in a million stories...

When you think of courage, does it look like a knight in shining armor battling the beast for the honor of the fair maiden?

No? Maybe it looks more like someone traversing a 14,000 ft. peak in the final steps of overcoming a life-long fear of heights.

Elena is the face of courage. A beautiful, vibrant, soft-spoken Latina, Elena has cancer. The cancer has returned year after year. At just 35 years old, Elena’s love is all-in—for her kids, for her husband, for her family, for her friends, for her cooking. Always bubbling over in hospitality, she never hesitates to make tacos for her friends.

“I can’t believe this is happening again,” she whispers after hearing the latest test results.

The truth is, often in life, courage isn’t something we ask for; instead, it’s something that emerges in our darkest times. Elena never asked for cancer. She didn’t ask to be courageous in this way. And yet each morning she gets up and embodies courage. She presses into a reality she never asked for, knowing that each day her spirit gets a little stronger and her love a little deeper. 

Courage is this ability to press forward when the darkness threatens to cover you and when you think your strength is gone. In Latin, this idea is summed up well in two little words: “Noli timere.”

“Be not afraid.”

Courage looks like:

The young boy on the school playground who is bullied and refuses to believe the hate-filled taunts…

and the mom who speaks words of hope and truth to the boy when he comes home crying—yet again…

and the young boy on the school playground the next day who places himself between the victim and perpetrator and becomes the surrogate protector

The young girl with cancer heading into the hospital for another round of chemo treatment…

and the parents who hold her tightly after another night of endless tears…

and the hospital staff who know that the parents’ pain needs comfort and thus choose to sit with them in the wee hours of the night

The young woman who admits she is same-sex attracted…

and the family who loves her just the same…

and the community that rallies around her as she faces mockery by a few


Where do you see courage in your own life? And in the lives of those around you?