Warning: What follows is not for everyone. Some will view it as a sermon or propaganda. Some will be offended. So be it.
Some will wonder what in the world this post has to do with the theme of this blog.
Simple: If I am going to pursue further adventures in fiction, I need to know a few things. I need to remind myself of the risks involved in real life, so that I may write the fictional dangers with conviction.
I am facing mental blocks in my writing at just the time when I need to words to flow; in my work life, I am facing resentments and misunderstandings over decisions I've made that affect other people. Therefore, this post is not only a catharsis of sorts, it is a declaration of purpose. Proceed with caution.
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I am an unabashed Christian. There was a time I hid my faith because I was mocked for it, derided and even accosted for it, but that was a long time ago, in my teens and early twenties. The compromise and the fear galled me until, after much internal anger and much prayer, I came to a decision:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth... . —Romans 1:16, KJV, Holy BibleAnd then there was this:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. —Matthew 10:28Why was I so afraid? Call me names, punch me or throw stones, kick over my backpack or throw my Bible back and forth, no one could harm me. Not in the eternal sense. And the One Who could do me harm has promised not to do so:
"...For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future... ." —Jeremiah 29:11
I could go on, quoting passages of Scripture where mankind is encouraged to be bold, be brave, be intrepid, because no matter where the road leads, we always have a home. We always have strong hands that will hold us upright, or catch us when we fall. We can face natural storms and human threats. We can take the bruises and the wounds and even death. We can face illness, bankruptcy, homelessness. We can "walk through the fire".
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. —Joshua 1:9"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... ." —Isaiah 43:1-3
We fear pain — I fear pain — and loss, humiliation, grief, retaliation, the death of dreams.
Should any of those keep us from doing what must be done? From doing the right thing — morally and practically?
A post by hiscrivener at The Writing on the Wall has been dogging me since the first time I read it and watched the video that accompanies it. The post is titled "Run for Your Life", and the video concerns a portion of a powerful sermon delivered on the first Sunday after 9/11. Watch it. Make a decision.
I do not want to serve fear, nor do I want to run away when I should run straight toward the thing that causes the fear. I do not want to live my life based on other people's lack of faith or conviction; why should their opinions or beliefs hold sway over me? They are not my master.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve... . —Joshua 24:25photo c. 2008, Stephen Easter