(one of my resolutions for 2018 is to write more and this is my first finished piece.)
Because fear—as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death—weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others, in the end, it makes us cruel. -Pope Francis.
No amount of exercise, positive affirmations, substance of sugar or savory, or even prayers to gods seen and unseen can erase fear from our lives. To be human is to feel the crippling anxiety that distorts our perspectives. When fear chokes our ability to be rational, we only see things through an irrational lens. As children, our fears come in all shapes and sizes. we fear creatures on land and beneath our beds, shadows that lurk our walls, or the sound of tempers heating up. Fear is not always negative as it can be the catalyst that keeps us moving, even though we don’t know what is ahead.
Author Sarah Bessey explained it this way, “Often, when we are on the threshold of new life or new birth, there is first the labor and the work…it is only by releasing ourselves, giving ourselves over to the pain, and riding its cleansing wave that we find new life.”
When we acknowledge the doubt and fear that is blocking our view, that is when clarity pierces through. The darkness cannot withstand light. Scientists like to call this phenomenon, “crepuscular rays,” or sumbeams, When the sun bursts through the clouds. Our time in the wilderness is not forever, as we will make it to the promise land. This looking ahead is what Paul boldly proclaims when he says there is nothing that can ever separate the love of God, neither death or life, no amount of fear, doubt, faith, or distrust can remove this love.
This truth doesn’t eliminate the shadow of death, or ease the times when we cry, “my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Instead, we must remember that we never go through them alone. Take a breath today, our fears can bring us to a greater place of clarity and healing, but it takes time.