Be Not Afraid
Within the last few days, our photographer, while in another town, witnessed an incident that affected her such that she told Bert and me about it when she got home. A man and his young family were standing outside a store asking for money. The man said to those passing, “I have no money. I cannot pay my rent. I cannot take care of my family. Please. Help me.” He was agitated, shaking his fist, desperate.
That image has been playing across my mind since then. Far too many people in this world know the anguish and despair that comes from having too little or no money. In my life, I have lived a great many moments. One was just like that of the man and his family, coupled with the added mortification that comes to those of the middle class when you realize you’re not only destitute, but also a failure, according to “the rules.” It was a moment that stayed with me for some time, because I permitted it to frighten the living sap out of me. Fortunately, there was an upside. There always is, isn’t there. I saw how long and how deeply I had lived with fear, and finally I realized that was no longer acceptable.
I am someone willing to quote anyone who speaks the truth, which means those offering insights which originate from intuitive knowing (their gut not their brain) who then evolve that knowing to the point of no doubt. Jesus, though greatly misunderstood by most who quote him, was such a voice from the western world—our own Buddha or Lao Tzu, so to speak. When he said, “Be not afraid,” he wasn’t trying to make people feel better, he was stating a truth, based on his wisdom regarding the true nature of Life, that force which brings us into being—all of us, birds, trees, horses, sheep, flowers—everything. We all have within us the capability to know that which makes life an experience of balance and harmony. Human beings appear to be the only life form that has lost touch with such knowing, to a noticeable extent. Thus fear can own us. Knowing is the only thing that defeats fear, not affirmations, not money, not prestige, not success.
When we know something beyond all doubt, we have something of great value to give back to the world. As a society, we can give people shelter. We can give them food. But the greatest gift—our knowing that there is no need to be afraid—the giver of that is much harder to locate. My desire for that dear family standing in that terrifying moment is that their present circumstances encourage them to open to all three gifts. Then life changes forever.