Everywhere I turn I find messages of Doomsday.
Our country is doomed. The church is doomed. Our children are doomed. The WORLD is doomed.
It is the beginning of the end.
I better armor up.
I better wall myself off.
I better get mine while I still can.
I better shut out anything and anyone ‘different’ than me.
Because the World says different is evil. Change is evil. And ‘evil’ is taking over the world…destroying anything it can and everything we’ve always known.
WE SHOULD ALL BE TERRIFIED!!!
And it’s true, there ARE plenty of reasons to be afraid. Gun violence and sex trafficking and terroristic threats and the drug crisis and a zillion other reasons to worry.
But you know what???
That’s not the way I want to live my life.
That’s not the kind of person I want to be.
And I think the World might be lying. I think the World might be exaggerating and pointing fingers in the wrong directions sometimes and attempting to manipulate us by spreading fear…
I think FEAR might be the real evil.
And I choose Good.
I choose Jesus.
I AM NOT AFRAID.
Because Goodness is everywhere.
Even in people ‘different’ than me.
Different colors. Different backgrounds. Different religious affiliations.
Those the World might label as ‘scary.’
Like the homeless man I cared for in the ICU who attempted to kill himself by downing a bottle of Tylenol. The one who turned more yellow every day as his liver failed. The one who would be denied any chance on a transplant list because of his past. The one who thanked me for just sitting with him. The one with Goodness in his piercing blue eyes.
Like the incarcerated woman whose baby I delivered in the middle of the night. The one who would have limited visitation with her baby the following year because of drug charges and sentencing. The one who cried and cradled her beloved newborn on her bare chest just like I did with my babies. The one with Goodness in her eyes.
Like the immigrant family I treated at an under-served clinic who spoke mostly with gestures and wild eyes and broken English while I did my best to understand. The family who worried endlessly over their feverish little girl. The family who thanked me and shook my hand, so grateful to be heard and cared for and loved. The ones with Goodness in their eyes.
Like the drug addict in my clinic who was raised by her crack-addicted grandmother because this was a better alternative than her parents. The one who made it to adulthood having never learned to read. The one who was pushed out of the emergency room because they assumed she was a drug-seeker. The one who felt better after I sent her to a surgeon who removed the incarcerated bowel from her umbilical hernia. The one who was wild and angry and full of profanity and sometimes SO HARD to love. The one who still had Goodness hidden in her eyes.
I choose Good.
I choose Jesus.
I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID.
And the sometimes difficult truth is…I have five children.
Five children I’ve loved with my whole heart since their very first breath.
Five strong and confident, intelligent and kind children.
Five white, privileged children.
More than the World’s definition of success, my great hope for my children is that they’ll grow up and choose Good.
I pray they’ll walk the earth with their eyes OPEN WIDE.
And use their privilege and opportunity to look straight into the eyes of every single person they meet and find Goodness. Especially in those who are ‘different’ or marginalized or the World’s definition of ‘scary.’
I pray they’ll live a life spreading Goodness.
I believe in Good.
I choose Good for my children!!
Our country is not doomed. Our church is not doomed. These babies of mine are not doomed. This World is not doomed.
I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO BE AFRAID.
I choose Good.
What if we all do???
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Timothy1:7
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