“Divine love in the
heart establishes one
in fearlessness and
We often think of courage
as a matter of will or
resolve. In truth, courage
emanates from the heart.
The root of the word
courage, cor, is the Latin
word for “heart.” The heart, then, is actually our source
of inner strength.
I have found love to be the catalyst for courage in ways
both large and small.
In 2006 I made a bold move from my home of 27 years
in Portland, Oregon, to Kansas City, Missouri. I had no
job, college tuition to pay for two children, and a horse
to transport, but my heart had said “yes” to making
the move so I could eventually go to ministerial school
at Unity Village. I had a strong love for Unity and an
overpowering desire to know God.
Many people said to me, “Wow, you’re so courageous!”
But I didn’t feel courageous. I just felt like I was doing
what I was supposed to do, following my heart, and
my heart was very sure. It established in me, to borrow
from Charles Fillmore, “fearlessness and indomitable
courage.” With my heart in the lead, the challenges were
easier to navigate. All turned out better than I ever could
Sometimes we need courage in smaller ways. Perhaps
we need to have a difficult conversation, or forgive
someone, or apologize. Perhaps we need to risk being
vulnerable. At such times, the heart can embolden us.
A few weeks ago, I visited my aging and ailing
aunt in Florida. I had not seen her in 28 years. She is
now on dialysis and has lost so much weight she is
barely more than skin and bones. My auntie has been
widowed twice, has no children, and now lives alone in a
retirement community. She has never been one to show
vulnerability or emotion and always puts up a positive
front. She’s never been interested in religion. I’ve always
assumed she doesn’t believe in God, although we’ve
never talked about it.
But this time, after catching up on news and
reminiscing about old times, I wanted desperately to
connect with her at a deeper level. How frightened she
must be, I thought, all alone in the world now. How
debilitating to go to dialysis three days a week and
wonder if this is how life will be from now on. I wanted to
connect—but I was afraid how she’d respond.
Finally, I thought, I have come all this way. Maybe she
won’t like what I have to say, but I must say it. I must
speak what is in my heart.
So I said, “Auntie, I know you are not a religious
person, but if you would ever like me to pray with you, I
would love to do that.”
She paused. Then she looked at me and said quietly, “I
would love that.”
In my prayer, I told her how loved she is by me and
all her family and friends. I told her that she is never
alone, even though she may sometimes feel that way.
Her loved ones who have passed on are with her in
spirit, and their love is with her always. I blessed and
appreciated the skill of her medical team and affirmed
her body’s positive response to the treatments. I prayed
for her peace of mind and affirmed that she feels
stronger every day. I told her I loved her. And then I
And she said, “Thank you, God.”
Whenever we need courage, the heart knows the way.
Unity teachings then and now
PAULA MEKDECI IS THE SENIOR MINISTER
AT UNITY RENAISSANCE IN CHESAPEAKE,
VIRGINIA. SHE HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN
UNITY SINCE 1980 AND WAS FORMERLY
VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
AND PUBLISHING FOR UNITY WORLD
Take Heart, Find Courage
CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY VIEW
SOMETIMES WE NEED
COURAGE IN SMALLER
WAYS … WE NEED TO
RISK BEING VULNERABLE.