Eighteen years ago, our country was violated by Fear. The rape was brutal and violent and caught us completely off guard. In the court of public opinion, some said we deserved it by the way we were acting. Others chimed in that we were pitiful and too stupid to understand the signs. As is common in cases of rape, the victim was blamed for the crime. However, there were some who saw the reality of the attack for what it was, an implanting of terror within us.
The seed rested inside and began to develop. It formed our thoughts and established our opinions. It took root and grew. Our eyes were opened to new scary possibilities we hadn’t considered before. Our ears heard chants and jeers and we took them in. They nourished the seed. It grew and got bigger until it had to be birthed into the world either through our words or our actions. Shaking our fists became an outlet. Pointing our fingers became our practice. Shouting at each other became our defense. Hurling words and bullets became a statement. Killing ourselves became our way out.
Now, on its 18th birthday, Fear is full grown. It is wreaking havoc with in all its differing forms. Trepidation. Anxiety. Distress. Fright. Panic. Apprehension. Depression. Dread. Horror. Alarm. Sorrow. Grief. Misery. Despair. Fear has quite a few faces, all of which are spreading seed across our country. The terror which was planted on 9/11 is bearing much fruit.
Our Post Traumatic Stress has us living in the moment of the violation. It will not release us to healing. It is a scar that will remain with us always. If we do not have eyes to see, we cannot understand what is happening. If we still think we are fighting flesh and blood, we will only aid in the spread of fear.
The opposite of Love isn’t hate. It is Fear. It dances with glee when we succumb. It laughs a hideous laugh when we join in with all the subtle shades of its character. When we embrace Fear as truth, it smiles, because it knows it has won. Fear will continue to violate us as long as we let it. On this day all those years ago, it won a great battle, but it has yet to win the war. No, that is another day, when Fear will bow its knee and confess Christ as Lord. What a day that will be!
Until then it will continue to plant seeds among the traumatized hearts of our people. Our only course of action is to recognize all of its forms and to refuse to bow to them. We choose kindness. We choose respect. We choose each other. We call Fear out for what it is…the opposite of everything we aspire to be. We choose instead, to love well and completely. We banish Fear. We embrace Love. We choose healing.