The one with the beach and the good old fashioned fear of God.

 Thursday April 21st, 2011

Dearest Sister of my Heart,

Ah, what a life!  We don’t have a ton of stuff or a ton of money or all the conveniences available to us like when you live in the States but we have been blessed in so many ways that I struggle to find the words sometimes!  Life really doesn’t require much to be joyful…

This last weekend we got to make a short trip to the beach with some beloved family that was visiting and we just plain had fun.  (There’s nothing like going places with a kid to teach you how to have fun with what you’re given!)  Here was one of my personal favorite moments:

Oh, here comes another wave… this one looks big.

Yup, this one’ll be big.

Huh… ok, uh-oh.

Alright, hold on, Buddy.

“Wee-Hoo”… woah!

Here it coooooomes…!





“Hey, lets do that again!”

As I watched my family play in the sand and waves (and that overwhelming wave in particular) I smiled because I am continually impressed with the way in which my son rolls with the punches!  He charges forth in life and, trust me, takes spills all the time, but is always ready to hop up onto his two speedy feet again and race off to the next thing.  As I hold him in my lap (sometimes bleeding, sometimes not) I am always inspired because he is not afraid to be sad, cry and hurt and then move on and run back into the waves, so to speak.  He does not let fear dictate his response to the world.  He’ll do well in his adventurous life because of it.

I have a tendancy to allow fear more power in my life than it deserves.  My actions themselves aren’t always dictated by fear but my attitudes and my relationships many times are.  Something I need constant reminders of is that there is only one thing we should fear and it is the definition of a healthy fear…


If you know anything about Jesus, it sounds so counter-intuitive!  God is Love and why should we fear a lover?  It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me when I was younger so I just sort of ignored it.  But you know… my kids are actually these little tiny teachers!  They are constantly teaching me more about my relationship to God than I would ever have imagined.  Now please don’t mistake me, I don’t have it all figured out, but I know that the love I have for those kiddos is a fearful thing and because they know it, they look up to me, respect me and love me back.  Here’s the clincher, my love is only a fraction of the love that God has for me.  When you come to realize that someone loves you with such an immense and un-breaking force (in spite of all the crap… in fact, has saved you from all the crap), it’s hard not to find a devotion that starts to define you.  It is a fearsome thing.  The more I learn about God, the more devoted I find myself to Him.  I owe Jesus my life.  I know I don’t always show it as well as I should but that’s just because I’m really good at getting in the way of myself.

One beautiful spring day in college a few friends and I decided to cut classes and go to the zoo.  (I know, but it was free and we were poor.)  After, we were sitting and drinking coffee talking about the things we fear most in life.  I voiced for the first time ever that my greatest fear was letting down the people who love me and those who I think are important.  I have spent over 30 years being afraid of what others think of me… and I imagine I’ll spend the next 30 doing the same thing, but there is one thing I really should fear and that is what the One Who Loves Me really thinks of me.  The only one who’s love truly cannot be lost… that is the one who’s approval I should be concerning myself with.  I believe that this starts to scratch the surface of what the fear of God really means.  It’s not about being afraid, it’s about caring more about what He thinks of me than about anything else…

So, as I celebrate this week what Jesus has done out of love for me and as I await the unfathomable resurrection that comes on the third day, I stand on the shore aside my awesome son and say, “Bring it on!”   I may feel afraid now and then, but there is only one thing I need to fear, and it is the love that encompasses me, the love that defines me, the love that makes me whole.

I miss you.

Happy Easter Dear One,

The Epistolarian