27 March 2006

Beyond Fear


Not horror-movie fear: real fear. The kind that runs through daily life.

Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of being embarrassed. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of recrimination. Fear of punishment. Fear of poverty. Fear of abandonment. Fear of others who are not like us. Fear of knowing. Fear of emotions. Fear of death. Fear of silence. Fear of rejection.

Fear. The liquid pain in a child's eyes when he realizes his world is now upside-down.

Fear. The hard edge in a woman's face when prejudice against her gender slams a door she dare not touch.

Fear. The jagged streaks underlying a politician's denial.

Fear. Weighing down the minds and hearts of so many of Us. Why?

The world is an unpredictable and occasionally dangerous place. Crime, for example. Traffic, avian flu and carcinogens are others. Examples abound. Therefore fear abounds.

And yet, there are some who glide without fear. The deranged We can ignore (or emulate, if all else seems futile). Some of these who glide cling to the idea of a God and thus yield fear from their lives to that God. Those are the "Let Him/Her/It take care of it all" school. Faith trumping fear with a marked card.

Then there are the willfully possessed, those who actively refuse to let fear dominate their lives. Driven, emboldened, almost savage in their intensity, they merely push fear off the superficial cliffs of their minds and let it fester in the deepest canyons of their souls.

Then there are the ignorant and those who opt for stupidity. Ignorance is not a crime, merely a circumstance, neither good nor bad. But stupidity, for any reason, is evil, a crime against a human's most powerful grace. Fools are stupid and thus wallow in fear.

The few who live without fear have not ceded, banished, ignored or rejected it: they have accepted fear as a part of Life. Not the main part, or the most important part, but simply part of the panoply. If fear is the opposite of love, We often think fear is more important, or why would it be so widespread? So as a signal, fear is a reminder that love also exists and can be brought to bear on the situation.

Yes, in every situation. One doesn't have to love thy neighbor--the woman's sexist boss, for example--to bring love to the moment. It can consist of loving oneself enough to stand up for one's rights, to let love guide a decision rather than let fear dictate inaction.

Or to watch a boy--My son, Kaleb--struggle with tears as he climbs into My lap. Afraid I'm going away now that he lives in another house, for he cannot understand everything yet, he chooses not to cling to Me, but to share, to let Me know that, though afraid, he's doing his best. He cries, but works through his fear by asking Me how I'll be, whether I'll be working too hard or if I have enough to eat. How much of that is Mine, I don't know; maybe not much. But I'm glad he has it and I won't forget it works.

Please don't forget it either.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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