The Bible says we should meditate on the Word. For a few weeks now, I have been meditating on forgiveness. Before I share my opinion, my experiences and my revelations, I want to hear yours. If you have had an experience with God, relating to forgiveness, please send me an email to email@example.com, and tell me about it. I don’t want to get sermons, nor reference of books, authors, teaching etc. I want to know what happened to YOU, in this regard. First hand. Tell me!
I was raised to be scared of spiders. In fact, I was raised to be scared of any creepy crawly. In the house where I grew up, there was a can of insecticide in every room, with spare full ones in the kitchen. Whatever moved in that house, got killed. My mother was scared of spiders and she passed that fear on to me. For years, I freaked out at any insect. I couldn’t stand it. As a family, we still laugh at an incident a few years back, when a large black cricket decided to walk up the right leg of my pants. When I felt the movement, I was out of my pants before I could think about it. It just happened. That fear inside of me was far greater than the fear of having people see me standing in my underwear. Imagine that.
My husband however, has no fear. He picks the insects up and relocates then outside. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to overcome my fear of insects and spiders. It took a lot of hard work on my side, and a lot of patience on his side. Today, I can honestly say, my fear is gone. I now have a pet spider. And meal worms that I can pick up with my fingers to feed them to the bearded dragons. I have overcome my fear and I am very proud of it.
Meet Sarah, my pet spider.
Why am I blogging about this? Fear is debilitating. And I firmly believe that fear, attracts exactly the things we fear, to us. Job said: “what I feared most, has overcome me”.
Fear is the direct opposite to faith, in all dimensions of our lives. I wasn’t only raised to be scared of spiders, I was also raised to be a racist. Racism is nothing but fear. We fear people who look different, dress different, speak different, all of that for no logical reason whatsoever. As a young adult, I started attending an english, charismatic church. And I soon learned that people of other cultures, are not bad just because they have a different skin colour than me. I learned that they too, are real people. People who love. People who laugh. People who cry. There were people in that church, of a different skin colour, who shared my love for music. Soon, they became my friends. Without them even knowing, they helped me to overcome my fear of people from another culture. Without them even knowing, they helped me to overcome racism.
Everything we were taught as kids, are not necessarily correct. Our parents are/were after all just human too. Humans fighting their own fears, and sometimes, not winning. As an adult, you have the responsibility to decide for yourself. You will not be judged one day on what your mother taught you; you will be judged by your own words, your own actions, your own beliefs, and yes, your own fears.
Today I want to bring honour to Babalo and Charmaine. Without them even knowing, they brought healing to my fearful soul. They were part of my journey, to conquer racism, to conquer my fear of anybody different from myself.
I dare you to start facing your fears, whatever it may be. Living with fear isn’t nice. I can attest to that. Living without fear, is liberating to say the least.
Last year in December, I shaved my head, supporting my sister who was on a cancer journey. I promised her that I would be bald as long as she was bald.
These few months with a bald head have been very entertaining to say the least. A walk in the mall with my bald head husband always cause people to stare. I guess they can not figure out who is sick and who is supporting.
People often asked very sympathetically, why I was bald. Most of them assumed I was undergoing chemotherapy myself. When I explained the real reason, the sympathy always changed to admiration. I did not encounter one person who did not admire me for what I did. But now….. Now my sister’s cancer journey is over. Her chemo is finished, her hair is starting to thicken again and we are trusting that she is completely healed. So there is no real reason for me to keep shaving my head, other than my own choice.
Now people’s reactions are funny. When they find out that I am doing it now just because I like it, the admiration quickly changes to judgment. I am frowned upon and questioned. Society now sees me as a rebel. A weirdo. I don’t fit into the box anymore and people don’t know how to deal with it. And me? Well, I am a strong woman. I just laugh it all off.
Today though, I spent a couple of hours alone on the road, thinking about this issue. Many people try to put others in a box. They expect people to behave in a certain way, to dress in a certain way, to live in a certain way. And if those people refuse to fit into the box, they are discarded, shoved aside, avoided. Often times, the box-people, will quote Scripture to justify their box-behaviour. And unfortunately, the verses quoted are mostly used out of context. When it suits the box-people, the Mosaic law doesn’t apply anymore. Until they see a person with a tattoo. Or a bald head woman like me. Then they will quote from the same law they otherwise shun. Why is that?
I grew up in a house where make-up, slacks, and nail polish were regarded as sin. Any person wearing those were considered a sinner. My father was a box-person. Oh and don’t forget dancing and watching movies. People that danced for fun or watched movies, were sinners. No wonder I had so much baggage about religion as a young adult.
Anyway. After thinking long and hard about it today, I came to a conclusion. If you are still trying to put people in boxes, you are still in a box yourself. You have not really experienced the freedom that Christ wants you to have. Once you really grasp the concept of His unconditional love, you will love others much easier. Once you really grasp the concept of freedom through the new covenant, you won’t constantly try to get others into the box with you. If you are still judging people by their outer appearance, you have a problem. I suggest you deal with it. Preferably before you see me with my bald head again…. I must just laugh at you when you try to get me into the box…. 🙂