Have courage and be kind

When I hear details of unthinkable acts, my immediate reaction is to turn off the television or hide from social media. As I get older, I’m forced to burrow deeper into my hole because unthinkable acts seem to be happening on a more frequent basis than before. Since I refuse to listen to the bad stuff, I do what anyone in my position would do — I turn to fairytales.

If you haven’t seen Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella, I suggest you rent or purchase it immediately. I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite movies from 2015. It has everything you ever wanted in a fairytale, including a handsome prince. But more importantly, it has a strong, clear message for young girls (and this 40-year-old woman) which is woven throughout the entire storyline:

Have courage and be kind.

We learn about kindness as children. We are taught to be courteous to others, friendly toward new comers and generous with our neighbors and siblings. The act of sharing and serving is something that is somewhat easily understood. It’s the courageous part that requires a little more effort.

The dictionary defines courage as: “The ability to do something that frightens one, or makes one uncomfortable.”

In the book of Joshua, our favorite military man is instructed four times to have courage. Joshua is reminded that the Lord will be with him wherever he goes. This message was meant to encourage Joshua through war.

I think it’s meant for us too.

I may not be carrying a sword or wearing a helmet, but the battle is just as real. And we need to have courage. I need to have the courage to click the CNN.com link. I need to have the courage to recognize and accept that we live in a fallen world. I need to have the courage to let my heart yearn for so many broken people. I need to have the courage to face each day with the hope that I can make a difference in my little corner of a very big world. All I have to do is show up. The Lord will do the rest.

I choose to combat the hatred by praying, serving, and loving others well. When the grateful man, woman or child calls me her fairy godmother for the day, I can smile, knowing that this is bigger than pumpkin coaches and magical dresses. By simply having courage and being kind, joy will fill that moment, and hopefully, that person’s entire heart.

And it won’t expire at midnight.

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