He was young as I remember it.
Only twelve or thirteen but with serious eyes that made him look at least five times his age.
We’d had only a brief encounter but that short conversation haunted me for days.
“I’m just afraid about everything.”
How was if possible that a young boy on the verge of manhood should be so hopelessly tangled up with thick ropes of fear?
Why this was the time in his life
to step out and try new things
to experience adventures
to grow in his understanding of himself and others.
But unfortunately instead of opportunities and adventures
he saw danger and devastation.
Instead of growth he saw risk
and so lived a narrow life
not willing to see what possibilities were right within his reach.
Young as he was this boy had already experienced deep loss and sadness.
So as he saw life
the best thing to do was to try to prevent anything bad ever happening to him.
In life terrible things can happen. Sadly true.
I squeezed his hand in encouragement and acknowledged his feelings of fear.
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
― Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith
A part truth.
But there is more.
More to life that I longed to have him see for himself.
There is beauty and goodness,
joy and adventure
faith and courage and walking on water moments.
There is hope when it appears to be no hope.
There is life that springs up from ashes.
Yes, so much more.
I prayed as I shared groping for the very words.
Trapped in fear
is not truly living.
To break free from fear opens up an amazing adventure.
“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”
Do you find yourself tempted to choose the safe way
instead of that other path?
Do you sometimes long to take that next step but then shrink back
unwilling to try?
But you can change.
Yes, a fearful, shrinking, ‘shaking as a leaf about everything’ person
into a courageous, faith filled moving forward with passion individual.
Voices might tell you no
but I’ve no only seen it
I’ve experienced it.
What’s holding you back?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10