By Carol Younger

 

 

 

take me out of the net which is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge”
~ Psalm 31:4

 

Fears and Tears

Today’s Psalm scares readers: “I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side, as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.” Yikes! Who wouldn’t run away fast?! When I was a very little girl, afraid of the dark, my mother often read me a book called “Fraidy Cat.” It had the large face of a black cat on a large round button protruding through all the pages, luminous eyes glowing in the dark. She hoped this tale of a cat finding courage because he could see in the dark would encourage me through fears. Today, the news shows how much courage is desperately needed. Wounds, death, and loss are everywhere. It has ever been so. 

Jesus’ Human Fear

Jesus knew all the fears of the future and plainly stated them, prophesying His own suffering and death at the hands of terrorists holding the reins of government in ancient Jerusalem. But He added at the end, and he will be raised on the third day. Maybe the disciples didn’t hear that phrase at the end. Neither, perhaps, did the mother of the Sons of Thunder, focused as she was on the darkness of daily life, seeking safety for her sons. Right after that conversation of suffering and death, she asks for thrones for her two sons on either side of Jesus. Maybe in that moment, Jesus pondered His crucifixion with each of them crucified on either side. He turns to them, asking if they can share in His shame and death, perhaps looking for companions in the scary darkness ahead. True friends follow and share in the Lord’s Passion, and they – of course! – say yes, we can. And we must respond also, despite fear. 

The Light and the Dark

Lent is long, ending both in darkness and in light. From that darkness comes all we are scared of, ending in death. But from the light, Oh!… From the Light comes all the encouragement, life, safety, and eternal Love we can imagine. Let the scary things of darkness recede – just as the Fraidy Cat’s painted luminous eyes eventually faded in my childhood book. Focus on the Fearless Warrior Christ, seeing through the darkness, encouraging, walking with us to Eternal Life and Light in God. 

 

 

 

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, so many things frighten me: The health and well-being of my family, the craziness of modern daily life with its speed and demands, and my worries over being virtuous and seeking your will.

Please help me to know today and every day that I am safe in your hands and that nothing can take me out of your hands. Amen.

Call to Action:

Make a list of your top three worries today. (only three). Next to each one, write a quality of Almighty God’s power (e. g., omniscience, eternal being, glory, compassion) counteracting each worry. Tear up the paper; throw away your worries. 

 

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