Praise God! The Bishop opened the Churches in South Florida! Sunday I attended Mass in person for the first time in three months. We, the Body of Christ, were back facing down fear for Faith. It had me questioning the price of security!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. [Psalm 34:5 Thanksgiving to God Who Delivers the Just]*
About a week ago I sat in the eye doctor’s waiting room. Wondering why I agreed to the appointment. Sitting there, I admit I was resentful. When they called to confirm two days before, I was told to be on time for my appointment “and not a minute early. We have to keep everyone separate. No one but the patient can enter and you must wear a mask,” The stern voice on the line said. So why was I waiting? As I waited, I thought about the situation.
The first thing on my mind was the fear permeating the office. What is the point of living like this? When I ask someone this question, I get some form of the statement: At least I’m alive.
I bite my tongue and nod my understanding, but I want to ask a question: “At least I’m alive, but am I living?” Jesus came to give us life. Not life in the dull and boring sense. “At least I’m alive” is just that, a dull gray life. He came to give us abundant life. [John 10:10].
How about this answer? “I’m safe.” What does that mean? That I live in a cocoon? It’s cramped in a cocoon. Eventually, even the butterfly gets claustrophobic and has to break out of the prison of its own making and fly free.
Then I want to ask: I am safe, but what is the cost?
I’m hearing about the cost of this in the cacophony of voices drowning in unemployment, boredom, abuse, and loneliness. What is the cost to you? To me, the cost is peace, joy, and freedom. I’ve been here before. Fear seeps in the cracks and freezes us into inaction. We don’t take the risks to move forward. When I lock myself away from life; the loneliness eats at my soul. This is not a sequestering to draw closer to the interior life. I am talking about when we shut down because of fear and build those thick castle walls.
Milly’s Realm is full of those walls. I built them all myself. Then one day I found myself locked behind the castle wall looking out, wondering why I was surviving and not living. The reaction to this virus was so extreme that it locked entire countries away in fear.
Writing this blog was a risk. It is hard for someone, like me, behind the wall to reach out and ask for a key to adventure, especially when that adventure requires me to change. Sitting in that doctor’s office made me realize I had another change coming.
Like that butterfly leaving the safe shell of the cocoon, I still want to fly! The butterfly takes the risk. It might drown in the rain or be eaten by a bird. But where is the beauty in a butterfly that does not fly?
A butterfly that does not fly is just a shell. When I hid behind my walls, that’s what I was… a shell of who God created me to become. This is the cost of security for me. First, fear and loneliness eats at me from the inside until I am a shell. At that point, I am only surviving.
Guess what? Everything I did to protect myself from risk, did not stop the storms from battering the castle, or the enemy within the walls from destroying my peace. I still had to run to my Refuge. I had to seek my God for peace.
“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” [Psalm 46:2 God the Protector of Zion]
The fear of going to a gathering was still there on Sunday morning. I have trouble with the mask and what if I go the wrong way? Will people glare at me? What will the priest say? What if I get sick? I went anyway. I left the cocoon and the shell of isolation and went to be part of the congregation again.
In moments I fell into the cadence of the Mass. Then the comfort of the Holy Spirit wrapped around my shoulders as I worshiped at the feet of my Savior. There were no phone calls, dishes in the sink, or a computer screen pulling me away. At that moment, we the Body of Christ worshipped the Lord God Almighty. My spirit broke free and soared with the bells. Oh! How sweet is the freedom to worship!
Where is my security? My security is in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God forever. I could move away from the fear of the doctor’s office and the comfort of my cocoon to fly with the Spirit. All of this by taking the risk of joining the Body of Christ in worship.
In peace I will lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, Lord, make me secure. [Psalm 4:9 Trust in God]
I pray you find your security, then take a risk and SOAR!
*All Scriptures are from the New American Bible Revised Edition