Last night was date night. Standard dinner and a movie, but it didn’t feel very standard.
Not after Aurora.
We entered “Dark Knight Rises” and I found myself wary of the exits, scanning the faces of all who entered with their big buckets of popcorn and becoming increasingly nervous when I saw some younger children enter.
I chose the theater because it is known to have police officers in it.
Before Aurora, I only worried about having to share an arm rest with a stranger or having loud teenagers around me. Now I worry about dying.
Columbine makes me worry about my kids going to school.
Oklahoma makes me worry about bombs.
9-11 makes me worry about airplanes.
The list could go on and on. I’m changed. I am frightened.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Yes, it’s real easy for an omnipotent deity to tell us to not be afraid, but I’m a human. Timid and frail.
Then I started to read more around the verse mentioned above. It wasn’t written by a deity, but by a man. A man who knew he was about to be put to death. Not a dramatic claim, but a reality.
He goes on to say, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
It’s a man writing to another man. Encouraging him to not be timid, to be strong. Even in the face of death.
All around us are reasons to be afraid. To lock our doors. To hide our children.
Yet, I am equipped with all the same things as that man not afraid of his death because of the life he had lived. Could I write his words though?
Even though I was afraid, I watched the movie. After the movie, we went to grab a burger. A waitress with so many nervous conditions waited on us. Forgetful and stammering she took our order. Minutes later she came back to apologize and explain she gets overwhelmed at her job and then she stutters. I don’t recall all I said to her, but I encouraged her and told her to be strong in herself. For a moment I forgot my fear as I focused on her. Desperate for her to have faith in herself.
Perhaps that’s what the Scripture was about. We live in a scary world, yet we find strength and power when we step out in it.
I’m still a scared, timid person, but I have a power in me greater than what is out there.
And when my time has come, I hope to say that I fought a good fight and finished my course.
…and frankly…not be afraid of death because of a life I lived.
Categories: diary entry July