Fear is having a field day (still).
Just when we think we’ve adjusted to a new normal, something else rears its ugly head. There are whispers of familiarity, but the stakes seem to be getting higher and the emotions more intense.
First days of school.
Virtual work and learning.
In-person work and learning.
First-time and renewed efforts in the work of racial justice.
Oh, and the global pandemic that’s been weighing heavy on us for six months now.
Some days feel almost normal, while others spill over with concerns and uncertainty, both real and imagined.
We feel the rush of energy from scanning the horizon, looking up for what assails us. And we feel the drain of energy tending to the home-fires we must keep burning at our feet. This exhausted vigilance keeps our eyes shifting between far away and ever-so-near. Fear keeps us so divided and distracted, we can easily miss bits of hope in our midst.
I’m part of a group of women in ministry that meets once a month to share our experiences, the joy alongside our fear and everything in between. On September 1st, we began reading Prayer: Forty Days of Practice together. We focus on one prayer a day, and this past Tuesday, these were the words that dotted the page.
“May I find freedom in limitation—
to fully give myself
To what I can do
rather than worry about what I
The prayer was a jolt to my system. A reminder that I must accept the invitations laid before me to be rooted in love and measured awareness. See, fear will never disappear; there are certainly many occasions when it's the appropriate response (certainly now for many). But acknowledging the spaces where fear may be robbing us of the gifts of grace, hospitality, and hope that live even in incredibly dark moments helps us accept those goods rather than missing them.
Let's lead with love, through alert hearts and minds. May we give ourselves to what we can do and resist the urge and societal expectation to worry about what we cannot do.
Grace + Peace,