So we lost a family member about two weeks ago – the husband of my cousin. He was just short of his 49th birthday and left a loving wife and daughter. They are heartbroken. This tragic turn got me going through my little “quote book” – as its name suggests, a book where I write down quotes and lines of poetry that I like. I found a couple I wanted to share, both having to do with the randomness of luck and life, and always the joy and wonder of it.
From John Steinbeck:
But I do feel strange – almost unearthly. I’ll never get used to being alive. It’s a mystery. Always startled to find I’ve survived.
From Jhumpa Lahiri:
Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.
…is fear itself. Of course, when FDR said that, there was plenty to fear. But that’s neither here nor there. His greater point was a worthy one. I thought of it while reading this nifty sermon. Have no idea what church this is — judging from a number of things, likely a hippy-dippy, new-agey, ‘inclusive’ congregation. Heck, the minister calls herself the ‘Sarcastic Lutheran.’ (My twin?) Nothing wrong with that. And nothing wrong with this message.
See, I think when God and God’s messengers say over and over be not afraid it’s because, people of God, fear just isn’t good for our hearts. If, as Paul says, Perfect love casts out fear, then perhaps we could say that fear is the enemy of love. All I know is that fear steals things – it is a thief of love, and joy and generosity for starters. Fear even takes things away while convincing us that it is actually protecting us. Fear makes me feel less safe and feeling less safe is not the same as protecting me. And fear steals these things because fear convinces us that it is more real that what is actually happening. The only time fear isn’t a liar is when you are actually about to be attacked by a bear or asked to do the chicken dance at a wedding or some other imminent threat.
Take that, fear. You have plagued me so! But I’m onto you and your ways.