My two boys have found and enjoyed a world of nature in the little retention pond behind our house. Just yesterday, we spotted more tadpoles hatched out in the brown water. One of my sons’ recent adventures with the pond involved little fish. Big brother and little brother collected some minnows from this pond in back of our house, put them in a plastic, rolling blue bucket, and then declared that they had a show for me.
After coaxing me outside–it didn’t take much coaxing–they proudly introduced their performance, deeming it the “bare-handed minnow catching show,” and they did just that–they plunged their hands into the water and scooped up just enough liquid to hold the minnow that made its way into their hands. As soon as it touched their skin, they let it slip back into the bucket of water, but they were indeed catching the wiggling little minnows with bare hands.
We talked about this at lunch, about how they did it. My older son simply stated, “It’s fun, easy, and simple. You just have to be brave.” Brave.
Maybe for some people, some boys, catching minnows bare-handed wouldn’t require any special bravery. But maybe for some others, they wouldn’t be brave enough to try it at all. Maybe doing what I do each day with my life requires heaps of bravery; perhaps it wouldn’t require much bravery from you. No matter what, we’re all extended invitations to be brave–sometimes knowing the brave thing to do, the brave choice to make, is simple. But it’s rarely easy. Sometimes, though, being brave lets us into something real, real fun.
Today I probably won’t do any bare-handed minnow catching, but I’m going to persevere in hope. And I’m going to give unconditional love, no matter what I get back. And in all that, I’m going to do everything I can to be brave, trusting that I don’t have to do it alone.