Being a 30-something American, I've never had to make the choice between safety and doing what's right. And I think that is true for most of my generation. But volunteering at the hospital in South Africa forced me to do just that. I had to decide which was stronger - my sense of safety and security, or my conviction that helping at the hospital was the right thing to do.
Whether I was actually in danger or not is debatable, but walking through the protestors definitely ruffled my sense of safety. Something happened when I crossed that line, however - when I passed through the hospital gates - I grew up a little.
Some things in life are more important than preserving a sense of safety and security. I think of those who fought in the World Wars, of those who smuggled Jews out of Germany during the Holocaust, of those who value human life over selfish gain, of countless millions whose names I shall never know because they remain obscure to the world's eye.
Ambrose Redmoon said, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear." And it was Jesus who said, "Love your neighbour as yourself," which prompted the question, "Who is my neighbour?"
If you needed medical attention, would you be outraged if there was none to be had? If you needed to give birth, would you be upset if you had to do it on the streets? Whatever rights you demand for yourself, are you willing to demand those for your neighbour, for your fellow countryman?
Jesus also said, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)