I can feel the red rising in my cheeks and ears, the sweat threatening to dampen my shirt, my pulse quicken. I try to calm myself enough so my voice sounds normal, my demeanor inviting, my invitation worth considering.
And then I take the plunge: "Want to meet me in the grotto for the Rosary?" or "I'm starting a women's study at my house, would you like to come?"
The fear of rejection threatens to stifle my voice, and it can take me weeks to find the courage to speak up. What if I’m alone? I dread to think my invite will be met with a “no, thanks anyway.” Many times I’d rather not take the risk.
I find that my prayer time with the Lord isn't much different. I'm not bold like Saints James and John, asking Jesus about what they imagine He’d ask or allow them to do. (See Luke 9:53-54.) James and John felt vulnerable enough with Jesus to share their (wild) idea (call down fire!) and that is incredible to me. They risked being wrong but asked anyway.
The last time I spoke so boldly and specifically to the Lord was, well, maybe never.
I ask myself, "Am I willing to be that bold, that courageous, that vulnerable?" Bold like James and John? To speak to the Lord and share my ideas, then to listen and humble myself to realign my will to His if I'm off-track? Courageous and vulnerable enough to invite others to pray with me, imploring the Lord for His favor and guidance?
With some trepidation, yes, I am willing and ready to be bold and courageous in my faith. And I trust that when the risk feels too great, Jesus will meet me there and hold out His hands to catch me in my leap of faith.
Happy Feast Day of Saint Therese of Lisieux! Learn details about her life of simple, courageous faith here.
Gina Fensterer finds daily life to be perfect for practicing virtue and sometimes blogs about raising up saints (she has six children). She loves the Jesus prayer, long runs, and coffee at any time of day. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.