These are bible words often delivered by angels. Fear not.
A friend said the other day that he felt that our culture was caught between hyper-fear and denial.
I heard that and something in me relaxed. The media has been certainly playing on the exaggerated worse case scenario on some stations. Is this helpful? Will that make those of us tanning on the shores of the de-Nile River change our ways?
Last week I woke up in the night or first thing in the morning filled with anxiety. It is easing now. It was not about “what is” in my present existence - it was about all the “what could be happening” outside of my family. These are things that I can’t control.
It gives me pause to reflect on the times and places in our world where others have not and do not have control too. Those who lived in concentration camps during the Holocaust/Shoah. Those who live in areas of war today. Those in Palestine and Gaza.
I just read an article that talked about public health in Jesus day. Catching an infection could kill you - if the Romans didn’t. The gospels remind us of a way of living and a way of being that acknowledges our fear, or worries, but invites us into a reality beyond what we can see.
What is an antidote for this virus of fear and denial? Breathe deeply of the love in your life. Breathe deeply of gratitude for the beauty in life. Breathe in love, breathe out fear. Breathe in peace, breathe out worry – if only for a breath at a time.
We are all connected by the Great Mystery that we experience and name in different ways. Within us, among us is, beyond us there is a power and presence greater than ourselves moving and inviting is into
Life in its Fullness. You may name this presence and power God -a God that you best connect to as an intelligent being. You may connect with God as a verb- found in human life-giving action; there is Spirit, Life, Something More. Different religions have different names.
In the classic Book “Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People” Rabbi Harold Kushner says there are times when we don’t have control over what happens to us – but we do have control over how we respond.
One way to combat fear is to look for the helpers. There are many. In Regina the Salvation Army has bag lunch drop off locations. The Sikh community is feeding people. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is bagging food as part of their church food bank program and handing it out.
Breathe deeply. Look for the helpers. Be a helper. Reach out. Fear not.
Prayer of Renewal
God of many names, known in different ways;
We pause and reflect this day.
Our world is filled with both chaos and blessing.
In these times it is easy to get buried in the fear and chaos,
and forget that your power calls us into the light of blessing.
Whether we are in tears or in a time of wonder
We are Beloved of God.
Empower us to be a force for life in its fullness in our time.