A third post about “my witness”–brief reflections on truths I have learned from my experience with Jesus.
God made all people and gave everyone an ineradicable dignity. God loves all people unconditionally and passionately. And, God’s love, made known in Jesus, gentles our fears.
I’m convinced that, more than anything else, it’s anxiety that twists and tears our hearts and fear which distorts and diminishes our authentic selves.
We’re afraid that we won’t have what we need to survive and thrive: that we will starve for bread or for beauty, that we will be unsheltered or unloved, and that we will be deprived of freedom or opportunity.
We’re afraid that we will live our whole lives and never know why: why we were made, what our purpose is, and what our possibilities are.
We’re afraid that we are alone and on our own: that when we are weak or needy or vulnerable, then we will also be abused or neglected or abandoned.
We are afraid of what others think of us, or, even worse, that they don’t think of us at all.
We’re afraid of dying and of death: what will my ending be like? Will I face it with poise and peace? What, if anything, lies on the other side? Who, if anyone, will greet me there?
Jesus tenderly and powerfully deals with our anxieties and fears. He urges us to trust that we live in a world of abundance, a world made and governed by a generous God.
Jesus tells us why we are here, the purpose of our lives: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength; and love your neighbors as yourselves.” We are not here, primarily, to produce and consume. We are here for love. We’re here to experience the love of God—to feel the acceptance, delight, and blessing of God; to accept and enjoy the love which comes to us from the hearts of other people; and to join God in loving the world—serving our neighbors, caring for family and friends, and laboring for the healing of creation.
And, Jesus has pledged to walk with us through our dying and to take us to the great house and heart of God.
Nothing, finally, can separate us from the love of God which comes to us through Jesus (Romans 8). He always—always!— cradles us in love, shelters us in tenderness, and embraces us with joy. And, as we rest in him, he gentles our fears.