It was one of those passing comments on a documentary that I was only half watching that totally gripped me. A documentary following people with extreme stutters receiving training to help them. One teenager, barely able to say his name, typed this on his computer to communicate why he was there – “If I could speak fluently then I could show people who I really am.”
Behind the obvious stutter, was a boy crying out to be seen for who he really is. To not be defined by his stutter. I wanted to leap through the television screen and give him a hug and say well done you brave boy! So often we are defined, boxed, judged by appearance, education, where we live – good or bad. Throw away comments by people can leave us crushed, hurt, vulnerable. What we face can negatively impact our life, our decisions, our dreams.
Our challenge is to not let the “if” in our lives rule our lives. To not let it hold us back, define us, and more importantly shut us down. In the Bible we read of people who did not let their “if” stop them. The woman who had an issue with bleeding pushed past people to encounter Jesus. Zacchaeus – much hated tax collector still climbed a tree and yelled for Jesus attention.
Watching this boy and the others along with him I saw bravery, overcomers and growing confidence. They, as one of the students said, “felt the fear but did it anyway” and “found their voice.” They refused to be defined by their “if”.
They were brave.