Stories Make Us Brave (my piece at The High Calling today)


It’s the first day of first grade and August wakes in tears. My son says he’s too afraid to get out of bed. I assure him that he doesn’t have to get out yet. “Why don’t you just get dressed in your bed, buddy?” I lift the clothes we picked out last night to the top bunk.

I long to make this better, to take his anxiety into me, to hold it for him. I cup his thinning, little-boy-cheeks in my hands and say what I’ve been repeating all the days leading up to this one: “You are brave and you can do this.” I know my words don’t make it into his fearful heart. What do I know of how small he feels in that school, how dangerous the unknown can seem to a six-year-old? He loved his teacher last year. What if this one is scary? What if he doesn’t have any friends in his class?

“You are brave,” I say again. “God will be with you, helping you.” He’s not convinced.

I know my son. What he needs is a story. He needs to feel safe in a story.

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I'm excited to be contributing today (for the first time) to as part of their series on .


  Dort besuchte er die primärschule und das klassische gymnasium