Red-Headed Super Power - Rev. Micah James

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” – John 14:27 NRSV

Courage is a word that is easily misused. We say we need the “courage to go on another day.”  For most of us, what we really should say is we need the “perseverance to go on another day,” because the next day is not scary it is just overwhelming. Courage is facing something that is frightening, terrifying, even paralyzing. Courage is to look something life threatening in the face and say “I am not afraid of you.” 

My sister has the greatest dose of courage I have ever seen in a mother. I don’t tell her this enough, maybe because I think it is her red-headed super power, but she is an amazing mom. She may not do things like I do, but when it comes to her children she is fiercely protective. She is their greatest champion. 

Last fall my niece was facing some health struggles.  She had not gained weight for some time and they were searching for answers.  Their doctor was following a line of testing for very scary diseases, but for some reason quickly ruled out allergies. Wanting to find the answer, my sister starting reading and researching. This thing that scared her wasn’t going to keep her from doing what was right by her child. 

In her research she stumbled across an article about gluten allergies and showed it to their doctor.  After some convincing, my niece was tested for celiac disease. Long story short, my niece has a severe case of this disease. Without my sister’s courageous commitment and determination for her child, their doctor would have continued to follow a different line of testing.  This fight eventually led to my own awareness of gluten allergies. My sister’s tenacity has changed multiple lives, including my own, in the process. 

Now my Sister and her family are on a different courageous fight – with each touch, bite, encounter being a possible hazardous one. My sister leads this charge with strength on behalf of my niece. I pray that my sister’s strength for her family is sustained by the peace of God. These kinds of efforts are not sustained by our own strength. If we are to care for one another, we have to not only lean on family, friends, and community, we have to lean on the strength and peace of God who gives us peace and takes away our fears. This is what allows us to take on these battles with the greatest of strength. 

Holy God, through your strength we are courageous. Amen. 

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