There's a mother fear that can suffocate the very breath from our being. A fear that grips tight and makes young ones wince from the hold. I've seen it in myself and I've seen it in the ones around me who grab hold of their child before she falls.
There's a mom on the phone who strikes fear straight through the wire when she tells me of how she just can't teach her children about those people, about that history. And she's not the only one. I've heard it before and I get it. I too have battled every moment of this motherhood journey fighting for truth to take hold. I've gutted cries for wisdom to know how to teach these children right, how to make them see well, how to fill their hearts with words that bring life. I've quaked in silence with questions and worries, not knowing if this is the right way to go.
It was mid-January when Jen Hatmaker tapped out the words headlined Brave Moms Raise Brave Kids and her post seemed to resonate with many, spurring others on. And although I didn't long to be quite as brave as Jen, I did find myself pondering how to bring bravery to the minds of my children, especially in the areas that seem scary. My ponderings broke down into something like this:
One goal of education is to fill my children's minds with ideas.
One of the ways to explore ideas is to explore the lives of people.
One of the ways to explore the lives of people is to explore their culture.
Sometimes exploring outside of one's own culture can be very, very brave.
So perhaps I am as brave as Jen, just in a different way ...
Each year, the children and I turn pages of hundreds of stories. Stories that take us all over the world ~ China, Poland, Italy, France, North Korea, Japan, America, and beyond ... And each time we visit a new place, we explore the culture of that land: the language, the society, the customs, the beliefs. And always we are awestruck by the uniqueness of the people. And often we are heart-struck for their need of a Saviour, and it's the heart-struck moments that lead us to pray.
And this past year we've been brave, stepping into the world of the beautiful First Nations, reading about their languages, their society, their customs, and yes, their beliefs. And often in a story we read about a spirit, perhaps a sea spirit or the night spirits, and we discuss what these beliefs mean because we know they are not our own. But just as we discussed how North Koreans bow down to their leaders and how Indian Muslims worship a different god, we discuss how our own neighbours hold different beliefs and how the call of the Great Commission intersects it all.
We bow brave for those around the world, and we intercede brave for those within our own country, and we grow brave love, deeper and more rooted, through each turning of a story.
And although sometimes my heart pounds fast and I question again and again, we're going to keep learning, and loving, and living, and keep practicing being brave.