Quiet Courage

One of the things I always remember about my Dad, was how quiet he was.  If you have been visiting this site, you know I have mentioned his seeming lack of a need to talk.  My Dad was truely a man of few words.

Despite his quiet demeanor, my Dad was one of the most courageous men I have ever known.  His job was the custodian at the county court house.  In this job, he often met men who for one reason or another found themselves incarcerated.  My Dad would occasionally invite these men home to share a meal and to help them get their feet on the ground. 

Did I mention there were eight kids in my family?  A meal at our house was quite an experience.  There were eight kids, two dogs, at least one cat, and if you waited too long there was not a chance you could ever get seconds on anything.  We would fight over whose turn it was to wash the dishes or dry.  We would argue over who was to take out the trash.  You get the picture, if a visitor to our home were unstable, dinner alone could send them off the deep end never to return.  Yet my Dad brought them home and fed them, never fearing for the safety of his family.

As a child I never felt unsure of my security.  My dad could build anything, repair anything, hunt and fish and grow anything.  He was never afraid to try anything and never seemed to fear how he was going to feed a wife and eight kids on $200 a month.  He just did it.  If he needed something, he built it.  If we were hungry he grew it or shot it.

He faced men who were used to having their way.  They were intimidators, but they didn’t seem to intimidate my Dad.  He didn’t raise his voice, he just said what needed to be said and that was that.

Courage takes many different shapes. 

  1. There is the courage of William Wallace in Braveheart.  He was open and defiant in his courage.  His courage led people into battle when they barely knew what they were fighting for. 
  2. There is also the courage of Wilbur and Orville Wright.  They had courage based upon knowledge.  The took knowledge to it’s logical conclusion and dared to push it a little further.  This to could have cost them their lives, but their need to know fed their courage.
  3. There is the courage of Jesus Christ.  His courage was based upon his love for people.  He knew what his courage was leading him to face.  He knew so much that during that time of prayer, in Gethsemane, he sweat blood just thinking about what was to come.  His courage was quiet.  He did not say a word, he submitted himself to those who planned to kill him and did not defend himself.

It seems this world has too many people who are trying to force fit everything into their plan.  If their child wants to play baseball, they want them to be in the major leagues.  If they want to move from one lane to the other on the freeway, they take it.  If they want their food faster at the resturant, they make a scene and maybe even get it for free. 

Where have all the values gone?  This world rewards those who are agressive and take what they want.  It never crosses anyone’s mind that the free meal they got may have been taken out of the wait persons check.  It may have even cost that person the only income they have to support thier family.

As fathers we need to learn how to cultivate that quiet courage exhibited by men of the past.  We need to teach our children values by example.  If we are to raise our children to be the next great generation, we need to show them a better way.  They learn by what they see in us. 

En servicio como padre



1 Response to “Quiet Courage”

  1. 1 Charlie October 16, 2007 at 3:04 AM


    I am going to print this and share it with a few of my friends. I hope you don’t mind. I love the “different shapes of courage” and the examples.

    Think of how brave Christ needed to be to stand, suffer, and die for us. Christ makes the bravest of men look like Care Bears.

    It is disturbing, to me, when Christian men “give up” because they think that a Christ filled life means your weak and that you will be bored. Contrary to that belief, we have been created in the image of the bravest warrior that has ever existed.

    If Christ is with us, who could ever be against us….?




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