The practice of courage
Do you know a gal by the name of Annie Funk? She’s a lady who found a seat on one of the last lifeboats leaving the Titanic. I doubt you know her, because she didn’t write a memoir after her harrowing survival because she didn’t survive. Instead, as the command to lower the lifeboat was given, she looked over the side of the boat and saw a mother with children left behind. She summoned them to the boat to give up her place. Annie Funk was not a survivor of the Titanic disaster, but this mother and children did survive.
This story fills me with hope.
For me, hope is a combo pack of serenity and fierce tenacity. That births courage. Annie was not overwhelmed by fear. Fear might have caused her to freeze, to stare over the side of the lifeboat into the cold, dark, choppy waters of the Atlantic. But Annie was looking out and about. How do we know this? Annie herself was quoted years before, when friends warned her of ocean travels, of saying, “Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land.”
I am reminded of how hard it is for a mother to return to our Family Education Program after her kid relapses. Months of reporting about his progress sounds good, but I find real hope in her willingness to show up even when things are terrible. On this particular week, instead of the usual report of his time in rehab, she says instead, “He left the facility; we don’t know where he is; but I know that my work is to be here.”
Oh, this fills me with hope! She isn’t following some magical formula that promises sure results if she will just go to meetings. Instead, she is choosing to live a virtuous life. As a parent of an addict, she knows that her family has been changed by active addiction, and her work is to resist the drift of inattentive codependency. What a heroine!
Have you tied your hope to an outcome? We all do I suppose! But have you considered how to maintain hope regardless of the outcome? What work might that require of you?