On Fear

6 Oct

On Fear


Much-Afraid, don’t ever allow yourself to begin trying to picture what it will be like. Believe me, when you get to the place which you dread you will find that they are as different as possible from what you have imagined, just as was the case when you were actually ascending the precipice. I must warn you that I see your enemies lurking among the trees ahead, and if you ever let Craven Fear begin painting a picture on the screen of your imagination, you will walk with fear and trembling and agony, where no fear is.

— Hannah Hurnard, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places”

Today I thought of how my family, friends and many I see posting on Facebook are churning in a vicious vortex of fear and hate over the outcome of one day in November. We have become uncivil, and toss rancour and harmful epithets as though they were magic potions in order to change the minds of those we accost. We are unhearing and uncaring.

Fear is a combustible element that can continue to rage, if unchecked, until everything in its path is charred to the nub. Even if our most hated enemy arises and commands for a time, the whisper of everything holy and whole is this:

Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.*

In this scenario with this as an understanding, does your or my opinion really make any difference?

Reverse the time machine effect — the one that says Be Careful if you go back in time not to change anything that will make a difference in the future present. IF such inconsequential action can result in such monumental change, then you and I have no control in and of reality. That’s not a position of passivity nor of denial — it reaches to our basic fears of truly having no control, and going forward in spite of that.

Whether Trump or Clinton or even Johnson grabs the helm of this ship of ours, we will nonetheless continue on. It will not be the end of things. Can you rest in that? Can we please turn away from the use of fear and/or hate?

*While this is a Christian maxim, its broader reach applies to everyone.


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