[Note: movie spoilers ahead]
We recently watched Secondhand Lions, with brothers Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine). Their life together has kept me thinking for the last few weeks about love and courage.
Hub is the hero in all the stories, who experienced the life changing true love for one woman and with her loss and the loss of his youthful energies feels his life is over. It's Hub who rescues his brother Garth over and over again at great personal risk. He shows the strength, prowess, courage and love of twenty ordinary men.
But it's Garth who has the greater love and courage. He follows his brother to Europe, through two world wars, through the French Foreign Legion, and into many adventures, without personal prowess or ability, getting into scrape after scrape from which his brother has to rescue him. Yet he continues to follow his brother without question. It's his devotion to Hub that has made the side of the powerful brotherly bond that is so flexibly strong it can transform itself to become a family for Walter.
And in the end we know that Hub never had any pilot lessons, and knew about flying only from a book. We're taught in countless stories and movies that anyone can fly a plane, but landing is another story. And Garth goes for that flight with Hub, and loves every minute of it, knowing where his brother is leading him and gladly going along for the ride. Hub's love and courage is the active kind - the kind men are more often able to muster. Garth's is of the more rare, abiding, waiting, trusting kind. It reminds me more of Someone else who put His life into the hands of others for love's sake and went where He was led.