Last week Del Ray resident Nancy Belmont erected a large blackboard on Mt. Vernon Avenue, kitty-corner from St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub. In large block letters, the top of the blackboard says, “I Wish I Had the Courage To…” and there’s a bucket of chalk for passersby to finish the sentence.
They said things like, “I wish I had the courage to”:
- start my own business
- tell my son he’s adopted
- be myself
- speak up
- hike the Appalachian Trail
- ask a girl out
- decorate in color
- learn Spanish
- take the time I need to heal
- move to Paris
I read with some wondering. I wondered why we have such fears… and what the list would look like if the wall was erected elsewhere – on the streets of Baltimore or Detroit, for example.
I read with a sense of discovery: my own fears are not all that unique. As human beings, we share similar anxieties.
And I read with hope. My hope is that we find communities of trust in which to share our fears. The church can be one such place – if we have the courage to open ourselves to others.