Fear and Freedom

train in fog

“I have often stated that there is a power in the soul that touches neither time nor flesh.  It flows out of the spirit and remains in the spirit, and is totally and utterly spiritual.  In this power God is as totally verdant and flourishing in all joy and in all honor as he is in himself….In the power God is unceasingly glowing and burning with all his wealth, with all his sweetness, and with all his bliss.”   Meister Eckhart

This morning I landed on “Thomas and Friends” while surfing channels to escape the rigors of surgical rehab.  Thomas was winding through a mountain pass when thick fog set in, robbing the little engine of all visual perspective.  Immediately I stepped into panic mode.  What if the tracks are shattered?  What if something is on the tracks?  What if another train has switched over onto Thomas’ track?  The dense fog slithered around me and took control as surely as if the situation were real.  “STOP, THOMAS!” I ALMOST YELLED.  Then…Oh.  It’s just a cartoon, Rita.  But fear had touched me on a primal level.

The fog of fear moves in when we least expect it, and like a photo shop tool, distorts who we really are.  God’s power in the depths of the soul is so abundant, that we fear it will overtake us.  But who are we, if not “sparks of the divine” (Meister Eckhart)?  We fear that God’s power will stun others with its light and they will withdraw in their discomfort, leaving us alone.  But we can’t name the fear that way.  Instead, we camouflage it by convincing ourselves that we are nothing.  We are sinful and proud wretches.  Fear is very effective in preserving that illusion.  And we remain safe from the risks inherent in the choice to grow.

We don’t trust that God’s power is enough to carry us through and beyond the fog.  We don’t trust that the power of God in us has eyes to see when we lose our sight.  May we develop the ability to see and accept the power of God in us, and the courage to let it spill out in spontaneous acts of unconditional love.

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2 thoughts on “Fear and Freedom

  1. I hope that you will forgive me for stealing your image of the “fog of fear.” I work with veterans with PTSD and they have resonated strongly with that image when I help them break through that fog of fear. Especially the Vietnam vets as that fog has cost them so much of their lives and they are struggling so hard to make sense of it. Thank you.

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