There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives away fear. That’s because fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love.
I John 4:18 (New International Reader’s Version)
In light of recent events, I’m digressing a bit from my Advent theme on “waiting”.
Within two weeks, we saw two mass shootings: the first at a Colorado Planned Parenthood facility; and the second, yesterday, at a center for the disabled in San Bernardino, California. In fact, I just learned about another mass shooting from yesterday in Savannah, Georgia.
All this can naturally put fear in our collective heart. So much so, that we become afraid of doing and enjoying everyday activities. We become afraid of the “other” as we label them as “terrorists” or “criminals” we need to control. We become afraid to empower ourselves for fear of someone shooting us. We’ll be afraid to develop real solution that can benefit all; and instead hide behind “prayers and platitudes.” We’ll be afraid to live and start to slowly die. And with the Holidays upon us, such fear can keep us paralyzed from engaging the Christ, who we need to burst forth in the present darkness.
The opposite of fear is actually love. We need to engage this growing fear with the power of love. If we try might, we’ll cause the shooting problem to escalate. Only love will have the power. As John said above, love-perfect love-casts out fear. Right now, we need to focus our energies on love instead of fear. Love will empower us to keep living despite what’s going on. Love will help us to love the unlovable despite how they may treat us. Love will propel us to love ourselves to enjoy our lives instead of neglecting them. Love will motivate us to find real solutions to the gun problem, and other attending related problems. Love will help us to express our fears in a constructive and life-affirming manner, and help us to work through them. Plus, with love prayers will become tools in our tool box for change; not just words to hide behind.
You may call me Pollyanna, however with all the other “options” that have failed, love the only true option we have. And if we engage with love, we’ll find that love will overcome this fear and make us truly courageous people. And when we become courageous, we can rise above and ascend to where God calls us to be.
As I always say, “To live with love is to live with courage. To live with courage is to live with love.”
My thoughts. Be blessed. Peace and Love.