1John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Imagine that you were not afraid. Last week, my son Max came running into the kitchen saying a snake was on his TV show. He was right–I checked–a cartoon snake was on the screen. We sat and I told him it was ok–it was just pretend. We talked about what else made him afraid. He covered his mouth and talked out of the side of it. He said, “dark places.” He stayed in my lap and we discussed a plan for him for those times when he was afraid. We talked about what could he do. Our list went something like this… take a deep breath, sing a song, get his dinosaur flashlight, get his blue soft blanket, get his stuffed dog, come get me, think happy thoughts, say a prayer to Jesus. Soon the snake was forgotten and together we set the table for dinner.

What makes you afraid? Years ago I hear a sermon from one of my favorite pastors–I won’t mention his name, because many of you reading this are also my favorite pastors:) The pastor said–what if something like this happens . . . you go to heaven and God says, “I want to show you something” and God pulls down a big screen and shows you a movie. As you watch, it appears very familiar to you, but you don’t quite recognize it. You ask God, “whose life is that?” and God says, “wait until the end of the film.” After the film, God says, “that’s what your life could’ve been, if you hadn’t been afraid.” Now that’s scary. Soon after hearing that sermon, I quit teaching and began this wonderful, wild, scary, life giving journey into music.

What would happen… if we lived our lives without fear… if we really trusted God 100%… if we gave all of our lives to Christ… if we gave more than we took… if we were fiercely loyal… if we weren’t afraid of what others thought of us… if we loved ourselves all the time… if we loved with reckless abandon… if we weren’t afraid to be ourselves?

Thinking of my life I can name several times and things that have scared me and in reality have been very difficult to walk through… job changes, moves, eating disorder, self-doubt, a miscarriage, coming to grips with painful memories and most recently the death of loved ones. This past year I read Henry Nouwen’s “A Letter of Consolation.” He proposes that it is a myth that time heals wounds. Nouwen says it doesn’t–time actually makes most things harder… you miss that loved one more.. you wondered when you’ll ever let go of that hurt. He says that it is love that heals and that sees us through hard times–God’s perfect love.

I know that to be true. I have lived it time and time again and I know that whatever dark places I experience in the future, God’s love will see me through. Sometimes it is crystal clear that God’s perfect love is the only thing that makes sense.

So this week, consider our list. Maybe you need a dinosaur flashlight; but remember to take a deep breath, find a friend, think a happy thought, sing a song, say a prayer to Jesus.. and know that God’s love will see you through, no matter what.

Blessings friends, Celia

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