World Conference 2023

Courage to Nurture

26 April 2023

By Jane M Gardner, presiding evangelist

But a Samaritan while traveling came upon him, and when he saw him he was moved with compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, treating them with oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Luke 10:33–34

God is a nurturing God. We, who are made in God’s image, have the capacity to be nurturing, but we often lack the courage.

In a favorite hymn, “The Love of God,” Fred Kaan helps us travel from God’s love to the hope and courage we need to act: from hate, war, fear, and pride to a sense of freedom and compassion. To be imitators of God’s love means finding the courage to stop in the busyness of our lives to offer nurture and compassion for those situations and persons in need.

The Love of God

The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.
God leaves us free to seek him or reject him;
he gives us room to answer “yes” or “no.”

[As the traveler, can we find the capacity to say, “yes”?]

We long for freedom where our truest being
is given hope and courage to unfold.
We seek in freedom space and scope for dreaming,
and look for ground where trees and plants can grow.

[As the traveler, can we find the freedom to dream of a better way, a better world?]

But there are walls that keep us all divided;
we fence each other in with hate and war.
Fear is the bricks and mortar of our prison,
our pride of self the prison coat we wear.

[As the traveler, can we free ourselves from dividing walls, misconceptions, prejudice, and fear to offer nurture?]

Oh, judge us, Lord, and in your judgment free us,
and set our feet in freedom’s open space;
take us as far as your compassion wanders
among the children of the human race.
Refrain: The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.

—Fred Kaan ©1974 Hope Publishing Company, One License# A-718653 Used with permission.

[As the traveler, with courage, can we practice sensitivity and compassion with all persons?]

May we have the courage to be nurturing.

Prayer Phrase


Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and repeat the word “courage” in the silence. Notice how you respond in body, mind, and spirit. Practice the feeling of spiritual strength, of stretching beyond what is comfortable and familiar. Bless the feelings that are evoked. Breathe again. Trust that you have everything you need to follow the Spirit in the places where courage is required today.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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