1 John 4:18

Monday, March 23, 2020

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18a

There has been a lot of fear lately. Fear of germs. Fear of contact. Fear of change. Fear of not knowing what is going to happen. Truthfully, fear is a pretty useful tool. It can guide us away from danger. Staying in fear, however, can bring its own danger.

Fear of virus during this time of pandemic is a valid fear. It can lead us toward following CDC guidelines. STAYING in fear might cause us to isolate ourselves beyond what is necessary – cutting ourselves off from the people who love us. Operating out of fear – whether it’s fear of pandemic or fear of the unknown or any kind of fear – will always pull us away from community. We will draw in on ourselves, seeking out the company of only those with the same fear.

On the other hand, operating out of love does the exact opposite. We can use just enough of that fear to make choices that keep us, and the people around us safe – but then we leave that fear behind and make choices based on love. With that simple change in our mind set, we begin to see opportunities all around us to make the lives of our neighbor better. A simple smile and kind word to the cashier at Wal-Mart who has been dealing with grumpy people all day. Spend time sewing bits of fabric together to make face masks for residents and staff in a local nursing home. Offer to pick up fresh fruit for someone who cannot safely leave their home. Take only what we need when we shop, making sure there will be enough for the next person. All of these are ways that we share love with our neighbor. And, when we do this our worlds do not shrink in fear, but grow in love.