“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
I captured a butterfly and then decided I was wrong. Hope it’s not too late.
It must be set free.
Caught up high in the corner of our porch, it didn’t resist my catching and barely fluttered to flee.
Found a pretty jelly jar, punched a hole for air and then reached for the lid.
The wings were motionless between my thumb and forefinger, no resistance at all.
Morning came and I regretted its capture as I thought of my fears and my efforts to keep most everything intact.
Under my thumb, clearly planned and not ever questioned.
Fear is a liar.
Fear is cunning the way it creeps back in.
It manifests and masquerades as regret, doubt, indecisiveness, insecurity, “overly analyticalness”.
Fear makes you forget you were ever strong.
Fear can fade an answered prayer into the back crevices of your mind quicker than you can say “Amen”.
Fear has already finagled itself back in.
Fear is a glaring, eyes covered with frantic hands, obnoxiously startling thing or a flicker-like tiny light in a dark room that no matter how you try, you open your sleepy eyes and there you go.
Right back to fear.
Faith, a quiet warm light at your bedside or to greet you as you turn your eyes from your driving to arrive back home.
Faith never confronts us, simply beckons our return.
Fear is a quickly spreading wildfire, hastening to burn you out,
Cast it off quickly, run back to your refuge.
Your journal, the place you write your prayers, your honest and scary questions and your figuring them all out with God.
Your knees, your quiet waiting.
The wings are beginning to flutter.
In time, maybe when I leave and let it be it will fly free.
But, now, tentative and questioning
Fear has returned to cause my considering,
Was I really free…is freedom really for me?
Last night I listened to lyrics I thought before were telling to give God all my heart, tell me what to do, Lord.
The song became new.
Rather than tell me what to do, the asking for more knowing
God, tell me what is true, God remind me only of what is true.
Saying, “Here’s my heart, Lord. Here’s my heart, Lord. Speak what is true.
Speak what is true.”
The butterfly will be free. I’ll check on it this evening and the little glass will be empty, the blue velvety creature will have remembered its wings.
What makes you afraid again? What is it for you that causes the writing of tragic stories?
Remember what is true. What is holy and what is for you not against you.
Freedom unexpectedly feels scary because it is new, years of living captive by fear make it foreign.
Embrace it, fly free and easy in time and maybe time and time again.
I pray we feel more free.