GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#109 — May 1, 2021

The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but it is fear.

— Gandhi

Welcome, Inspired Seekers!

What are you afraid of? I have a list!

In recent times we have lived through the fears of a devastating pandemic and all that it wrought upon the earth. Now, the process of re-entry into the world poses an equally fearful response from many. There have been scads of other times we have been caught, paralyzed perhaps, by fear, but these are fresh wounds. They ooze with grief and pain and we search for a soothing salve.

It sometimes seems as if our faith – however we hold it – sits in a spiritual pharmacy and we can't quite reach the shelf; we are searching for that prescription that will heal us.

It is curious to me that in the Biblical scriptures, each time God shows himself to humans, his opening words are, “Do not be afraid.” Even his messengers introduce themselves with this warning. Hmmm… the introduction to holiness begins with an invitation to put those lists aside.

Are we now, as it appears we were then, so entrapped by an image of a fear mongering, angry and destructive god who loves to punish that we had to be calmed before we could listen? Are we wound so tightly in an immature belief that we perceive an interaction with the Divine as a confrontation to be feared and fought?

When we are sitting in that fearful state almost everything is seen as an enemy – a force to be challenged, an unpleasant reckoning that beckons. Each encounter makes us realize just how much we need control. Perhaps our view of this god – and each other – needs to be reframed. It needs to be seen in the shadows of grace.

If we can shift and really know the Divine as compassionate, forgiving, merciful, loving and faithful, and if we believe that that God lives within us, doesn't that change everything?

Doesn't that allow us to rip up that list and trust in love? I hope so.

Grace, Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I trust in a loving God who goes by many names. I know that all will be well.

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