Ok, so I wrote this a few months ago and just rediscovered it.
Fear is a real feeling. At times it hits you like a blow to the gut and at other times it creeps up on you slowly like a robber in the night. My current fear pertains to growing up, aging, getting older. We dropped my older brother at college yesterday night. For my close knit family, good byes have always been a challenge. Walking around his college campus with him was thrilling and yet, terrifying. Thoughts of growing up and moving out flooded my mind the way people flood stores on Black Friday. After we said our tearful good bye it dawned on me, I was next. That would be me next fall and the scariest part is that it’s only one year away. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m excited for college, I’m excited to move out. There’s an excitement that goes hand in hand with moving out. But, the thought that I am actually, seventeen years old honestly scares me. I have cried before, I’ve cried and cried when I realize that I am no longer a little girl. No more Barbies, playing “house”, or digging to China in the backyard. It’s paradoxical because as a child/pre-teen, I could not wait to be old enough to do certain activities. I remember thinking I was old enough to move out and do “grown up stuff”. I would get frustrated at boundaries and having to listen to my parents. But, now all I think is where has all my time gone? How can I have two older siblings in college? How can my older sister be thinking about marriage? Am I really old enough for this to be happening?
Life is funny that way. We, as humans, are funny that way. We always want what we can’t have. I think the only way we can be content and unafraid of life is in the loving arms of Jesus. The nights I cry about growing up I run to him and more than once I have asked to be younger again. I have pleaded that life is going by to fast. That I need more time to love my family, friends, make memories and live life. Fear is the natural feeling when we’re in a situation or circumstance that is abnormal for us. But Jesus died to overcome my fear and your fear. There’s no need to be afraid of the future. I know it’s easier said than done. Jesus said that we don’t need to fear the world because he over came it all. He has overcome the world. All my fears, he has overcome. The next time you feel like being afraid of the future, I know it happens again and again to me, run to him and know that He has overcome.
and it’s Jesus’s story spelled out in beautiful, poetic form…
Not far from here, is a place that I know,
A place that one would not wish to go,
For it is a country of gloom and despair,
A country full of hatred and fear,
It is the land of the crooked men.
In this land, men do not stand straight and tall,
They are twisted and bent, as if from a fall,
Their skin is not thick, their bones are not strong,
Just a glance, and you know that they are all wrong.
There is not much love, in the land of the deformed,
Because all are crooked, straightness is esteemed,
So each beats down others, both body and soul,
In hope that their worth will be measured above all.
Rare though it is, a miracle may occur,
In the land of the broken, an upright will stir,
The upright is first regarded with wonder and awe,
But soon, very soon, the oblique form a mob.
You see, they cannot believe what the upright is saying,
That the secret to straightness is not about preying,
Deforming those around you, only contorts yourself,
It’s about learning to love, and learning to help.
If all that one does, is push those near down,
In a vain attempt to be king of the mound,
Then eventually, you’ll see, one must fall,
There are always more men, desperate to be tall.
The crooked will gather, around the upright one,
And demand the truth, or his life will be done,
He tells them to love, they spit in his face,
And with screams and wails, they show him his place.
They take up their hammers, their big billy-clubs,
They pound and they smash, trying to stub,
But no matter how powerful their blows rain down,
The upright man, does not make a sound.
He told the truth, though they could not believe,
That the only cure for crookedness was love’s reprieve,
By straightening others, one straightens himself,
Until he stands tall, like Tolkein’s elf.
So the upright will lay there, calm and unbroken,
Because his straightness is not easily taken,
Straightness did not come from the lopsided land,
So it cannot be broken, by a lopsided man.
Eventually, the crooked mob will grow tired,
They will scatter away, like sparks from a fire,
They won’t be there, when the upright will rise,
They will never see the tears in his eyes.
He wanted to save them, from their broken state,
But all he received was a helping of hate,
He refuses to give up, his love will still burn,
And he will keep trying to find one who will learn,
In the land of the crooked men.