When I worked as a teacher, the staff participated in an annual walk-a-thon to raise funds for various charities. My first year working there, I was asked to help.
“Of course! Tell me what I can do.” That was a no-brainer. The event was for a good cause, and I was new. I needed to make a good impression on the rest of the staff.
A week later, it was time to sign up and put down money, but I had since found out the charity we were walking for supported embryonic stem cell research. I could no longer support this cause. Yet if I backed out, I would risk alienating myself from the rest of the staff.
Today we hear the story of Herod’s crossroads. He regretted promising to grant any wish of his step-daughter—especially in front of his guests. Yet his reputation was on the line. So he caved. He knew what he was doing was wrong and instead of doing the right thing, he bent under the weight of his own pride.
That day sitting in the journalism lab and taking back my promise to help my coworkers was embarrassing. I hated having to say no. And, you know what, it did alienate me from the other teachers. There was no immediate happy ending to my small moment of bravery.
I think the lesson is that we must make the right choice anyway.
This commentary on Saint John the Baptist and Saint Augustine ties in their courage to stand for unpopular beliefs.
Jenna Hines has a teeny army of four children and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. They are a homeschooling family who just moved out to the country. Find her books and illustrations in her shop. You can find out more about her here.