Here’s Rob McRay’s excellent understory from June 2016’s theme “Courage”.
Nashville, tonight we encountered courage.
We had the courage to live our dream for two hours in front of “the man” himself—a dream we had chased since we twirled in front of that chain-smoking lady with red fuzzy hair.
We had the courage to hike to an Iceland waterfall, crossing the icy current in our bare feet and bare…other parts, climbing a mountain, screaming in fear, and realizing that we had crossed the line between courageous and stupid.
We had the courage to move from our homeland to a strange new people who questioned our marriage customs, where we got up the nerve to teach brain science and were rewarded with a rare letter that led us to our new home.
We failed to find the courage to take a stand in “the Walls,” when a baloney substitution led to banging plates and then to the Pork Chop Riot…and the unleashing of the dogs.
We saw the courage of an old man holding the hand of the one who held his heart, and we watched him struggle to smile as he asked “Do you know who I am?” and she asked “Will you remember it for me?”
We had the courage to overcome our phobias and move across a continent, where we learned that Hollywood stereotypes are rarely true, even of New Yorkers, where we realized that we can indeed make it anywhere, and where we found the freedom that comes from changing a number.
We glimpsed courage in a friend whose life took him from dumpsters to jails to a homeless camp, where he had the guts to feed a dog, and share a blanket, and risk arrest to protect the humble homes of the fellow homeless.
We saw the courage of a friend who dashed the 8-yards to grasp a deadly broom, and found we had the courage to…save ourselves, and learned that one needs courage even if the bear is just a dad under the deck.
We found the courage to listen to the voice within, and to break free from one who warped God and truth, and to listen to the stories of survivors who helped us move from a resounding “no” to a healing “yes.”