At a writing seminar on Saturday morning, she asked the question and we wrote the answers. And in just seven minutes, this short writing exercise exposed truth sitting silent.
I am afraid of … of deep, cold water with no visible bottom and edging around the sides of too-tall mountains. Snarling dogs and Emily driving home late at night on I-35. Wasps that fly straight into my face and rattling along in a bus on the chaotic streets of Managua. The phone ringing at 1 am. Again. Sirens wailing and ICU. Big, dark, empty buildings alone. There is much to be afraid of.
Yes, I am a mess. But. I am not afraid of my own backyard.
No, dying does not scare me. Because God does not scare me.
But His plans while I live? Yes, they often frighten me. I fear the places and people I love being wrecked by unexpected tragedy. When the hard fought joyful outlook implodes. When I start to disbelieve God is good. When I question God as holy.
In one short writing exercise, I find I am so fragile. Because this relationship with God, the one I hope is anchored on trust, hangs tenuous because of my fickle faith. These are the days I am homesick. Tired. And wonder if I can possibly make it another 30 or 40 years years.
We talked about this at the table two nights ago when I discovered I wasn’t the only one walking afraid and homesick. And my oldest reminded us:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
To live is Christ: He ate. He drank. He walked and prayed. He encouraged and taught. He slept. He wept. He walked away. And no doubt, he felt afraid. Fully human, remember? Acquainted with our suffering.
No matter where you are today, you aren’t alone.
Jesus accompanies the fickle hearted, the tired, the lonely, the hurting.
And so I pray. For you. For me: Live, Christ.