Sunday, February 20, 2005

A story of courage, from an unusual source -- a link to the story of how Robert E. Lee's daughter was arrested for violating Jim Crow laws, and of how her father refused to bow to similar pressures.

It is a good story because it reminds us that people are complex, not simple. It is much too easy to think that everything is simple, when it is not.

It is also a good lead-in to a story about a real hero in my life, my wife.

When she was sixteen and at the beach in Brazil, she spotted a girl in trouble as the waves were getting rough, and she and a guy both started swiming out to help. As they got there, the guy bailed out, saying it was better to let the girl drown than it was for them to drown with her. It was then my wife made the decision to either save the other girl or drown herself with her. She decided she had met an important test in life and she had to face it to be true to herself.

The guy who bailed out watched from the shore as both teen-aged girls made it back in spite of the worsening waves. My wife gained something from facing that test that most people in our culture never face, and passed a very real test.

I adore my wife, I learn from her thoughts, and she is a role model and story of courage for my life and for my daughters.

For some sermons she has given:

Win's 1997 Women's Conference Talk
Father's Day Talk
2002 Coleville Conference Talk

I'm grateful we have made it so far together, through so much.


Peggy Snow Cahill said...

WOW! She is quite a hero. Amazing story! I can't wait to go read the links to her words. Such an inspiration to us all! Thanks!!!

yabadabadoo helper said...

That's really something. It sounds like one of those life defining moments.

P.S. Thanks for putting in a good word for the Lee's. Political correctness has really dragged them through the mud.

Stephen said...

In our world, it is hard to understand territorial drives and the feeling of roots that constrained Lee. His family was Virginia in many ways (from the cute parody of the Lees in 1776 to more serious renders, such as Mel Gibson's Patriot which is a retelling, with poetic license, of another Lee) and he felt bound to it in a way alien to modern men.

But within his limits, constrained as he was, he was a man.

Glad you like my wife's story. I obviously adore her, but she has lived up and beyond that moment.