Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Courage at the Testing Point

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~C. S. Lewis

As the tectonic plates of culture alternately drift further apart and then crash into each other with increasing violence, I am reminded of blog posts of the past, written in times of heart pain and despair over the fear and separation manifesting in our world. 

When I went back to read these posts, my first thought was that nothing has changed. Those posts could have been written today. Specific circumstances and events might change, but underlying it all is the same need for a better way.  

The posts observe a divided world, encourage us to be healers, and assure us that there is a better way if we have the courage to follow it. 

We are, I think many would agree, at a testing point. We are called now to be this time’s “righteous among the nations.” To march together across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. To be the small but mighty child in the crowd who sees through illusion and says that the emperor has no clothes. 

We are called not to accuse but to model, not to condemn but to lead, not to fight but to free, not to know but to understand, not to inflict but to heal, not to win but to unite, not to hate but to hold.

What does that look like? It looks like listening to our own inner guide, leading us on our own path. It looks like inner alignment that manifests in everything we do or think or say. It looks like integrity, being fully integrated in body, mind, and spirit. 

It looks like courage at the testing point. 

The way we seek is not out there but within.

16 thoughts on “Courage at the Testing Point”

  1. Truth be told, I am feeling shame for crying over trying on a bathing suit. In a world where there is so much pain, I feel small right now. I can do better.

  2. Your comment touched my heart, Linda. I understand and share your feeling of shame and wanting to do better. At the same time, you are manifesting the very courage I'm talking about. Your comment revealed honesty and vulnerability, a willingness to see yourself as human and let others see you that way too. What a model of courage you are offering to us all. Thank you so much.

  3. Courage is most definitely at the testing point, Galen. May God strengthen us with His courage that we might do His will and walk in His ways to the glory of His name.

  4. May I live the courage I write about! I've been reading stories about people who do model it, for example, people who were later recognized as "righteous among the nations" for saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust. A friend of mine is about to publish a book about her father, who was shot down over France during WWII and saved by the resistance. All around us and all through history, there have been people who stepped out of their ordinary lives to do extraordinary things. We all have it within us to see things as they are and to do the right thing, with courage and compassion. Thanks for commenting. (I like your online name — curiouser! What a great attitude to have.)

  5. I feel so much better today after having spent two hours each night celebrating the world we have through the DNC convention. And last night, when I listened to Joe Biden, I fell down to pray for a new, bright, enlightened country. That picture you posted takes my breath away. I am grateful for you.

  6. Isn't that an amazing statue? There is an interesting story behind it that I can't remember now — I have to go look it up again. I'm grateful for you too, DJan!

  7. Wow, I enjoyed every word of this one. I think you said just the perfect thing for us to all be doing. Listening to the inner voice; which is to me the light of Christ helping us know good from evil and then the blessings of the spirit of the Holy Ghost prompting us to do goodl.
    Blessings and hugs for this one!

  8. 'The way we seek is not out there but within.' When I read this I felt something. We know that Jesus is quoted as saying 'the kingdom of heaven is found within'. He also implied 'I am' the holy presence,the higher Self was before Abraham. (John:8:48-59) So, before the Abrahamic religions was this presence.The Christ or I Am, existed as the first born of all creation (Col:2). This presence is within , 'I Am' is the way, 'I Am' is the truth, and 'I Am' is the life. Did we misunderstand Jesus ? The Christ in his body was this 'I Am' presence . The apostle Paul said 'Christ in you is the hope of glory' Thanks Galen!

  9. Indeed, Brian. I love the connections you made with deep Biblical principles. Yes, I think we did misunderstand Jesus, and other wisdom teachings from the Bible. We try to understand with our separated minds — that will never work. Thanks for commenting. And I apologize for the delay in posting your last several comments. I was away from the blog for a few days.

  10. Thanks, LeAnn. I love the concept of surrendering to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That is what all wisdom traditions teach us to do. Perhaps with different vocabulary, but same concept.

  11. I agree with every word and can tell of similar thoughts about past and present. What I don’t understand though, is the phrase “righteous among the nations.” Where does it come from and am I to understand it literally?

  12. Thank you, Friko, for commenting and for asking for clarification. I meant to explain that phrase in quotation marks in an end note and then I forgot! The phrase is used in Israel to honor non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from the Nazis. I used it in the blog post because it has an inspiring ring to it (to me anyway) and it honors people who definitely showed courage at the testing point!

  13. Thank you for the elaboration. Like I said I didn’t know the phrase and (very unwillingly) assumed you to mean that the current US (administration) might be “righteous among the nations”, something I would have found utterly incomprehensible. It always takes the ‘little’ people to perform miracles, rarely, if ever, politicians.
    I have an example of that in my own family: my grandfather was on the train to take him to Sachsenhausen when a former friend of his, who had become a Nazi, used his influence to have him released.

  14. Oh dear, I had not thought about how it might be interpreted politically, but of course the mention of "nations" lends itself to that context, just as "righteous" can sound religious. So I can see how someone unfamiliar with the term (which is probably most people — I'm not even sure why I do know it) could see it that way. As I said, I did mean to explain it and forgot.

    Anyway, my oversight led to knowing your personal story. People are complex, aren't they? Thanks for sharing that.

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