Love and Fear

©Keerati freedigitalphotos.net

©Keerati freedigitalphotos.net

Like footprints in sand washed away by an incoming wave, fear, when allowed to be overcome by love, will be washed away completely.

God’s ocean of love, if allowed into the heart, will cleanse us of fear – the fear that cultivates hate, condemnation and division.

I am convinced God’s unfathomable, immeasurable, indiscriminate love and grace frightens some because it is uncontainable. I think the fearful know, once the free gift of unconditional love and grace is accepted, they must give away the overflow. And giving away love and grace and mercy and compassion to those considered sinners by the fearfully righteous is anathema to them.

You see, fear encourages fists. It fosters clenched jaws and closed minds. It sustains status quo. It deprives lungs of the Breath of Life and starves the soul of Living Water. It neglects the heart, letting it choke and wither. It incites a mindset of hostility.

“We must especially guard against simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil, or, if you will, only the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within.” Pope Francis

We must not be afraid of love. We must not be afraid of grace. We must not be afraid of mercy and compassion. These are ways of being which connect people, which place us in each others’ shoes, which allow us to know one another as individuals instead of groups.

Further, once the decision is made to surrender and accept this miraculous gift, the desire to bless others with the same becomes intrinsic. Hands open, jaws soften, minds become approachable, and the heart blooms. With the help of the Spirit, we see each other through the eyes of Jesus – the eyes of compassion.

Am I in that head- and heart-free space all the time? Heck, no. I’m human. I have days when I shake my head and roll my eyes at others humans who’ve been created by the same generous God who created me.

But getting up every morning and asking the Holy Spirit to arm me with the strength to produce His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the one of the most powerful prayers I can pray. It helps me get out of the way so God can use me for His purposes. It allows me to latch onto the peace He provides, and eagerly pass along His love, grace and mercy from His compassionate heart.

Also published on Church Set Free

 

13 comments

  1. A good reminder, Susan, to allow the love of God free reign in us.
    Blessings on your weekend ~ Wendy

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    1. You as well, Wendy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the visual image and feelings this post today created for me. I am going to use it in my pre- prayer meditations tonight.
    Love you Susan!

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    1. Thank you, Melanie. So blessed to know it spoke to you. Love you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup, we’re definitely on the same page here, Susan. 🙂 It’s funny how fear keeps us from love, but love is the antidote to fear!
    Love the Pope Francis quote, too. He surprises me in a good way every time I hear him.
    Blessings.

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    1. 🙂 Truly enjoyed hearing Pope Francis the last two days. Though not Catholic, am catholic when it comes to the unity of all Christians, and believe he is, too.

      Gotta keep the word out there; love conquers fear.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this post.

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    1. Glad you connected with it, Rebecca. We must spread the real gospel, which is and always has been love, grace and mercy.

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  5. This is a beautiful post, Susan.
    Yesterday I was studying my bible and this word: love kept jumping at me. Love casts away fear, but we must first be willing to accept and believe in it. And then allow ourselves to be God’s hands and feet to extend his love to others. It’s a prayer I say daily now because my human fragility sometimes wants to do the opposite of love.

    Poignant quote from the pope. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    1. “we must first be willing to accept and believe in it.” Yes, this absolutely must come first. Love answers all.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Uju. May His love extend widely through you.

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  6. Wonderful post Susan. Stay the course. May God speed your work for Him.

    Much love Tom

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    1. Thank you Tom. ❤

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