There are two kinds of fear: The Bible talks a lot about fear of God — fear in the face of something awesome. That kind of fear is the type of fear that makes someone want to change. But a fear of other people makes you want to stay the same, to protect what you have. It’s a stagnant fear; and it’s paralyzing.
Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?
No matter how well grounded my assessment of someone may be, it is still incomplete. So if I’m going to be wrong anyway, I choose to err on the side of grace. I choose to suppress the initial categories I want to put people in — rich, poor, together, not together, druggie, yuppie, rocker, loser, winner, cool, uncool, etc. I choose to remember that I don’t know their struggle or their pain. I choose to err on the side of grace because someday I’ll stand before God, and I pray he’ll err on the side of grace with me.
The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply: Create silence! The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. And even if it were blazoned forth with all the panoply of noise so that it could be heard in the midst of all the other noise, then it would no longer be the Word of God. Therefore create Silence.
Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.
The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God.