Living in Love - Not Fear

Corny Sunshine

"There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear."
- 1 John 4:18a

Throughout college, I struggled a lot with nightmares. I had terrible nightmares, often involving dragons, hot lava, death, running, and all kinds of evil. I don't know where these yucky dreams came from, but I always dreaded sleep because I knew it meant more bad dreams. I had a really wonderful roommate named Angie. She said once, "Emily, you can always wake me up if you have a bad nightmare. I'll sit with you. We can say a prayer together."

I remember at least one time that I took her up on that offer. It was the middle of the night in our big suite of 8 roommates. I knocked on her door and woke her up. We sat together for awhile. And she quoted me this verse from 1 John. I will always remember it. I love that verse.

I ended up in a wacko conversation today with a group of people expressing some very anti-female undertones. It was alarming and disturbing. But under it all, I think it was about fear. Fear of women's intelligence and compassion and authority...fear of men being in touch with their own sexuality and their feelings...fear of change. At first, I was so upset to hear hurtful, insensitive, ignorant comments. But, as I stepped back a bit, I realized how very, very powerful fear can be. It operates in all of our lives - oftentimes without us even realizing it.

Homophobia, racism, sexism, classism - what's really at the core of all these? Fear. Fear of the other. Fear of ourselves.

Instead of dwelling in my own frusration, I'm going to take today's "unique" encounter as an opportunity to examine the way fear operates in my own life.

Perfect love casts out fear. And no one needs to live in the nightmares.

No comments:

Post a Comment