A thunderstorm is ringing through the neighborhood, flashes of light invoke fear in the big blue eyes of my little children. My older kids, they look to me to gauge my reaction. The little ones they come running. I don’t mind the storm. I sense the oppressive heat needs a break, and this is the only thing that will free cooler air in the middle of July’s summer. The flicker of lights tells me we could have a real storm on our hands and I think about the fun of lighting candles and snuggling together. My children see it differently. The loud crackle and flickering lights says something unknown and something out of control. They need comfort, and they run to us, they run straight into our arms. I am happy to comfort them. To remind them it will be okay. We will stay together and hold them and reassure them until the summer storm passes. The feelings of motherhood surface, and I feel love pouring all over me and through me and dripping onto them. Their fear subsides as quickly as it came. I can see the tenseness melt away and the smiles appear as they snuggle in close. Safe. Loved. Known.
Is this what love does? Is this what the verse, “perfect love casts out all fear” could mean? There is a lot to be afraid of. The current state of things is rocky at best. We are seeking truth, and there seems to be conflicting truths wherever you turn. We are seeking justice. And it seems to be that not everyone values justice. We are seeking peace. The paths of peace are obstructed with opinion after opinion, obstacle after obstacle and a corrupt system that doesn’t seem to change. We are seeking safety. But when I look at views, they all seem to be fear based. Fear inducing. Fear exploiting. I wonder in this magnetic storm, if love could center it all.
Could a love be acquired in this time period…and replace fear? A self-love, a love for others, a love for the world around us. I believe we need a receiving of love that is steadfast. When I quiet myself in the morning sun and all is still except for the sound of birds out my window, I sense love inside. I feel at peace. I ask God questions, how do you want me to think about this or that? He answers me in my heart, what feels like love? The question goes away because I know the answer. And along with it, stress…fear…frustration. Love envelops me like a parents hug on a stormy night. The fears go away because the answers to my questions always reflect love. I feel safe, loved and known.
I challenge ourselves to posture in such a way that we can receive love. Be it from yourself, oh the beauty of self-care, from others, allow your fear to be known so they can step in and speak love, and from God, for if we are created in God’s image, surely God’s perfect love can cast out our fears. I also challenge you to humble yourself in the giving portion of love. Giving a quiet moment to your soul, practicing gratitude for what you have and set your intentions of being a gift to others. What words of love can you speak into someone else life? What fear can you cast away? How can we remind them that they are known and loved? We can follow the golden rule and treat others as we would like to be treated. We can do this in both thought and deed and inso doing change the tide of our souls temperature from agitation to peace. For the verse “love your neighbor as yourself” means that you both receive love and give love.
How much progress would we make in society if love and empathy were the tools of choice and not fear. I am confident that when we approach our lives honoring this love within us, it reignites a light that reflects grace and wisdom. This grace and wisdom then pours out on those around us. I do believe in the power of love. It is a verb. Love is an action. It is something we must hone in and practice in little ways. And those little waves we make, will soon wash over us with peace that surpasses all understanding.
Allowing love to overcome fear, is allowing love to do what it is meant to do. Love is FOR us and it will make a clear path. If we decide to embrace it. If we decide to live it. If we decide to give it.