Peacemaking

Take Big Risks, Do Hard Things

When we take big risks, we save lives. We change minds. We take another step closer to the world we know we want, one without war and injustice.

Leaning in to conversation and community with those who look, think, and believe differently than us can be scary and hard. But it’s worth the risk. Photo by Chari Chin Young-Caston/Preemptive Love

It’s tempting to dream of a season when everything is just going to be easy.

But our world—our very being—requires that we take big risks and do hard things. 

We’ve taken a lot of risks since we started in Iraq 13 years ago. We crossed enemy lines to save the lives of some of the Middle East’s sickest kids. We pressed into war during the rise of ISIS. We take risks still by providing food and medicine on the frontlines in Syria, Venezuela, and Mexico. We take risks with every refugee-owned business we start in Iraq, Syria, or Mexico.

But it’s not just us. Our refugee friends take incredible risks to flee home,  to find safety for their family. They take risks to become entrepreneurs, to leave day-labor jobs and learn new skills and new ways of working.

People throughout this community take risks in Love Anyway Gatherings around the world, stepping outside their usual circles, to listen and learn from those who are different.

Why do we do it?

Because taking big risks saves lives—including our own.

Big risk braves bullets and bombs to provide lifesaving medicine.

Big risks feed thousands. Those locked down in Syrian refugee camps. Those on the run from violence in Central America. Thousands stuck in desperate poverty in Venezuela. 

Big risk brought us here. 

We have to choose to risk big. It can be uncomfortable and hard and scary. It requires hard conversations. It comes with pain and messiness. But we still wake up every morning and we make the choice to take big risks. We learn to put fear in the passenger seat—not living without fear or pretending we’re not scared. Fear isn’t out of the car. But fear doesn’t get to drive.

Love drives us. 

Taking big risks saves lives—including our own.

When you take big risks, when you press into pain, you know it will be hard. Everyone carries their own wounds and their own ways of doing things. Everyone has their own ideals and capacities, their belief sets and abilities. We have to know our boundaries and our limits. We have to know when we can’t take the next big risk because it would be too much, when we need to hold back to reenergize, to heal, to rest.

Taking big risks can put us in physical danger, right on the frontlines, standing with the marginalized. But it can also mean taking risks in the ways we think and feel, how we relate to others and what issues or hard conversations we lean into. It’s confronting our past and opening ourselves up to new experiences and people. 

This work is hard. It’s really hard. And it’s scary. It’s scary to put yourself out there. It’s scary to risk it all. 

But it’s worth it. Because when we take big risks, we save lives. We change minds. We take another step closer to the world we know we want, one without war and brokenness, without division and injustice. 

It’s a risk. But it’s worth it.