How We Learn to Be Brave

by | Feb 9, 2023

Stepping up to the plate when you aren't ready is the price of beginning.

With gratitude to the many who helped bring an idea to fruition, I’m pleased to tell you of the upcoming publication of my book How We Learn to Be Brave: Decisive Moments in Life and Faith. The release date is May 23rd.

Canon Historian Jon Meacham has graciously agreed to host a launch event on May 23rd, 7:00 p.m. at Washington National Cathedral, followed by a book signing. You can attend in person or online – learn more and register here.

This book is the culmination of my life-long engagement with Scripture and love for Jesus. I draw from the biographies and memoirs of leaders who helped change the world for good, and in particular, those engaged in the long struggle for racial justice in our country. With their permission, I share the personal accounts of people I’ve watched do amazingly courageous things – and about the moments in my own life when I learned how to be brave.

I do my best to describe what it feels like when you know that you’re in a decisive moment. While some of these life-altering experiences are public, most are private. Moreover, decisive moments in themselves are not what transform a life, or a community, or the society at large, but what we do in light of them when the adrenaline fades.

Decisive moments come in many forms. I write in depth about five: deciding to go, deciding to stay, deciding to start, accepting what we do not choose, and stepping up to the plate. I dedicate an entire chapter to the inevitable letdown that follows a decisive moment. The final chapter is a meditation on the hidden virtue of perseverance, the foundation upon which courageous life is lived.

Some decisive moments require action; others, acceptance. Some are dramatic and are there for all the world to see; others are internal, known only to the self and to God. Ultimately, what I hope to communicate is my conviction that heroic possibilities lie within each of us; that the inexplicable, unmerited experience of God’s power working through us is real; and that we matter in the realization of all that is good and noble and true. We can learn to be brave.

More people than I can count have been teachers and inspiration, not only for this book but in my life. If you are reading this, chances are good that you are among them. Thank you.

As a person of faith I dare to trust that God is at work amid the most challenging realities of our lives, and that, by grace and acceptance, we join God in the holy work of transforming the world.

As a person of faith, I dare to trust that God is at work