Monday, September 25, 2006

Much bewildered, sore afraid

At church Walter has been teaching on fear. This post by Darren at The Alternative Hymnal brings the subject of fear to Jesus' ministry. Overcoming fear is a constant obstacle for me. He writes:

"When I started to think about it the words “Do not be afraid” kept on coming to mind, in particular how the Gospel story seems to start with the words “Do not be afraid” (in Matthew) and, in the same book ends with the same words as Jesus and the angel appears to the women after the resurrection, it’s the same words Jesus uses on the mountain after the Transfiguration and the same words he uses as he calls the fishermen to follow him on his journey, it’s also the same words used as he walks on water and frightens the disciples and when the Synagogue leader is told that his daughter has died."

Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being known - all of those things rear their ugly heads in my life and I am tempted to isolate. To hide, to withdraw and to stop engaging in the community I so long for and need. I found this post a real reminder that most of life is really about overcoming our fears. All of us. Not just me.

I wonder what it would be like to sit together in a safe community and share our fears. Talk about them, say them out loud. Realize how very much alike we really are to the people sitting to our right and our left. I know that most would bristle at the thought. Few would show up, and fewer still would probably feel safe enough to share. But what could be overcome if we spoke our deepest fears into community and we were heard and not alone?

I have come face to face with some of my greatest fears in this past year. I am now in a community that embraces me - will allow me to use my gifts and participate as I am. Not as who I have to construct myself into to be acceptable.

This is terrifying to me.

What if I am judged as unacceptable. What if I stand and don't deliver? What if I can't live up to all that I so long to be? What if I'm all talk and no action?

That would be one of my greatest fears realized.

Do you ever just pick up a book at THE RIGHT TIME to read a line that HITS HOME, square, right between your eyes? I did that this morning. A Christmas devotional by Calvin Miller was calling to me today, "Pick me up" it said. This page opened and I read this prayer:

"Lord, may I quit trying to figure out the mathematics of grace. You have chosen me because it is Your nature to use the bewildered. And that is enough for me. What would you have me to do?"

The bewildered. The afraid. The lost and confused. That hit me square between the eyes. Okay. Today I will own my bewilderedness and do it bewildered. Here I am God, send this bewildered one.

You can read the rest of Darren's post here:

The Alternative Hymnal Faithless - Mass Destruction - P*Nut and Sister Bliss Mix


nikkirae said...

It's almost as if you're describing me when you talk about fear. It's always nice to be reminded that God knows how screwed up we are and uses us anyway.

wilsonian said...

"What if I am judged as unacceptable. What if I stand and don't deliver? What if I can't live up to all that I so long to be? What if I'm all talk and no action?"

And what if you're loved, and cherished, and found to be fabulous?

What then? :)