A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon

That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living

Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness

That the haughty neck is happy to bow

And the proud back is glad to bend

Out of such chaos, of such contradiction

We learn that we are neither devils nor divines. — Maya AngelouA Brave and Startling Truth. 


I am a big fan of Maya Angelou. She has an Arkansas connection and she once wrote a wonderful story about my good friend, Charles Bussey. I am also a big fan of this poem. I love the image of a haughty neck happy to bow, and a proud back glad to bend.

We are at our best when we don’t use our strength to harm or threaten, but when we use that same strength in humility and warmth. A friend once called me “a poet in a football player’s body.” I like the poet part.

As you meditate this morning consider how can I use my strength in kindness and service.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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