Monday, June 26, 2017

Living out of love, not fear

Last Monday morning, we woke to discover our garage door open and my husband's fairly new bicycle missing. We still don't know how the thief gained access, but we suspect a faulty garage door opener. We filed a police report and secured our garage. Then at 2:45 in the middle of last night, Julia woke us, saying she heard a scraping noise from the garage. So Lee got up and went to see if another bike might have disappeared. 

Fortunately, everything was in place. We don't know what Julia heard, but it was a windy evening so maybe someone's garbage can was walking down the back alley? Our sleep disturbed, we lay for a while wondering if our home and possessions were secure enough. Conversation kept us awake for a while, as we talked about the things we own that we need to protect (not all that much, really). Eventually we came to the wise conclusion that our possessions really aren't that important, and that we don't want to let fear rule the way we live.

The problem with possession, with clinging to anything, really, is that we have to protect and defend what we consider to be ours. Of course we don't want things to disappear from our lives -- we need what we need, and having the things we need disappear can get costly. But locking ourselves and our possessions away from the world all the time isn't a good option either.

In Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus said, "Fear no one... do not fear... do not be afraid..." And what do we fear? Loss, pain, and abandonment, mainly. And what counterbalances our fears? Love, of course.

I love this little reflection by Michael Leunig. I know I've posted it here before, but it comes back to me in situations like this, begging to be rediscovered. We are afraid of so many things. But when we chose love over fear, the world changes from terrible and traumatic to a place of infinite possibilities. Knowing that we are loved beyond our wildest dreams, cared for by a Creator who provides us a beautiful planet on which we live, move, and have our being, can help us to be fearless, to welcome the stranger, to forgive the thief. We know that our Creator's love touches all, even the person who stole Lee's bike, whether she or he knows it or not.

Of course, we're still one bike short, and we've taken as many precautions as we can to ensure that nothing else goes missing. It was a good bike, and I hope and pray that the person who took it benefits from it in a positive way, gives up petty crime and discovers their belovedness. But of course, that's between them and our Creator.

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