A few weeks ago, I told a trusted person in my life about a theory I've been chewing on.

"I think I'm actually a brave person," I said. "I haven't always historically acted like it, but I think I'm actually pretty brave."

She looked me in the face (over Skype) and said, "Sara, you are." Then she told me something that's been silently raising a ruckus in my brain since then.

"You have a unique kind of bravery. It's different, and very special. I think it's one of your greatest strengths, because I don't think people expect that from you. It's really very unique."

Since then, I've been wondering: what is this special, different kind of brave?

I'm not sure I know the full answer to that question yet.

But it makes me want to ask you:

In what ways are you different? What uniqueness is yours and yours alone?

In the performing world, we tell one another that when we go into auditions, we have to know what sets us apart from everyone else. We have to know what makes us special, what we bring to the table. How can we expect someone else to embrace our full artistic selves if we don't even know that full self?

If we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, each in the image of God, then we must each have a different part of His infinite Self and His infinite assurance in Himself.

What do you bring to the table? There is room there for you. We are in need of what you are longing to offer. What do you bring?

Do we dare to answer the question? Do we dare to offer?

Will we withhold the beauty we have been given by the hand of God, out of the fear that it will not be appreciated?

Or worse -- that it will not even be seen?

I have a secret for you: You are more fully yourself if you offer it.

If you don't bother, it's just sitting in the closet, wasting away, dying for the light. And so a part of you will atrophy. A part of you that has been made for the abundant life extended to us by the very hand of God.

May we not waste away in silence, afraid.

May we offer what You have given us to give away, Father.

First because it will make You rejoice.

Second because it is how we have been created. We cannot do otherwise.

We cannot do otherwise.

May we not be afraid. May we offer instead.

And if what we have to give is courage in the face of the fear -- may that be what we put in our trembling hands and extend toward the world.

If this is all I have to give, I want to give it.

May that be our motto. For we cannot do otherwise.

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