David Unflinching

By: Suzy Richardson

I can remember it like it was yesterday…. chasing my daughter down the cobblestone streets of Florence. I was there as a chaperone for her high school trip to Italy, France and Spain. She had studied the Statue of David in her art class, and although the tour bus was going to be departing shortly, she figured out the address for the Accademia Gallery and was determined that she was going to see it before we left. I had no idea where I was going (my map was in Italian) but somehow I managed to keep up to her and a few of her friends who had gotten off to a running head start. I figured if I didn’t stay on their heels I would become hopelessly lost but luckily I was able to catch a glimpse of her long brown hair flying as she rounded each corner…. and then before I knew it, we were all standing, out of breath, but mesmerized by “David”. We were only there for about 15 minutes, but it felt like time stood still. I could not take my eyes off of him because it looked like this exquisite, marble statue was actually breathing and I had this overwhelming sense that I was experiencing something very profound…something bigger than I knew. I am grateful for that stolen moment and my mind can go back to it easily, and it often does. The look of steely determination in David’s eye changed something in me that day and that memory is now a touchstone for me. None of us get an exemption from the hard things in life…the loss of a job or a loved one, divorce, addictions, illness or accidents; these are things we often have no control over. But we do have control over how we face them and sometimes that can make all the difference in the world. It’s safe to say that we are not going to win every battle that comes our way but – win or lose – I believe we are given a measure of courage and strength for the next time we have to pick up our sling and stones. You have to fight a few lions and bears before you can take on Goliath. David looked me square in the eye and taught me that.