Fear – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Interesting.
‘There is another fear in the Bible that has a different meaning. It says to fear God. This is not a fear as in being afraid of God. Fear is used to express a Filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subject of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear. Jer32:40 “…I will put fear in their hearts… .’ The word obedience is what interests me.
Henri Nouwen says the word obedient comes for the Latin word audire, which means ‘to listen.’ Henri believed that a spiritual life was a pilgrimage from absurdity to obedience — from deafness to listening.
I love the fact that the word listen and the word silent are anagrams of each other.
I was frightened once.
Almost 10 years ago I went to the cot to pick up one of my 5 week old twins. When I got there I found him blue. He was floppy with lack of oxygen, his lungs had collapsed, one fully and one partially, and death was but a short seething, putrid distance away. The doctors having examined him on three separate visits to the health centre told me he just had a cold. I said to them ‘something is very wrong’ they heard me but they refused to listen ‘he just has a cold’ they said. Later that evening I was to experience one of the most frightening moments of my life. All I could do was blow on his face and say his name and the words ‘stay with me, stay with me’ over and over and over again. For the next 10 days he was taken away to the high dependency pediatrics intensive care unit in St Mary’s hospital in Paddington, London, I was separated from him. I had to stay in the special care baby unit 80 miles away with his twin. I was told he may not survive. Every time the nurse knocked on the door of my room my stomach churned and my whole body convulsed. I though they were coming to tell me the worst. I was frightened. St Mary watched over us. We all came home on Christmas Eve. For the next two years I was told there could be a relapse, every time my baby boy caught a cold I was filled with fear. God was with us.
Seventeen months later I was sat in Harlow hospital, in a little room with two specialist doctors and my mother. It was a very serious little waiting room, with all the weight and stench of grief. My father had been taken poorly two weeks earlier and having finally been diagnosed and told that his condition was treatable we had entered the room and expected the specialists to talk to us about my father’s treatment. Instead they told us there was nothing else they could do for him. Dad had become too unstable to have his operation. It was just a few months before his 6oth birthday celebrations. At the unexpected news I went into shock. My hands right before me in a bizarre and violent fashion began shaking uncontrollably. The nurse on one side of me and R on the other side, both took one hand each and held them to stop them from shaking. I was frightened. I got up and left the room before anyone else, and went back to my father’s bedside. A week later I was holding his hand as he switched realms. I wasn’t frightened. God was with us.
In this world many unpleasant thing have happened to me, things before the above, things since the above, and no doubt there is more to come. Some things are the same as happens to many of us, and other things only happen to but a few, and some things that others have experienced I will never even know. Some of my fears surrounded death, and some of my fears surrounded a different kind of death. At times I have felt beyond dying. At times I have felt that Death might just be a wonderful release after the dying. To be in His arms. End. Every time another shocking thing happens my hands begin to shake, not quite so violently as they did when the news of my father came, but still they shake. However frightened I am, I have learned to cup my hands tightly together in prayer. And in my prayer I reach out to God. And in my prayer God has reached back out to me – and held me secure.
I have had enough ‘Lot moments’ to deal with in my lifetime. I have too many times been frightened, and too many times been humiliated, and even when my dignity has been abused still I have held onto it. Still I will Love. And still I will remain True. And still I will hold my head up. And still I will turn the other cheek. And still I will forgive 77 times. And still I will forever follow Christ in the way I believe He asks me too. I am by no means perfect, in fact I am very far from it, but I am a good person, and I won’t ever be other, and I won’t lie. I might smile on the outside, I might smile on the inside. I might cry tears of sadness or of joy. I might hurt and die over and over again because of the pain. I might heal myself or heal others. I might get frustrated and if lucky delighted. I might be rejected or accepted it matters not anymore. I might be human, and I might at times be frightened, but I have nothing to fear – for God is with me, and God is Love.
And I am listening.