Saturday, July 17, 2004

Living in Fear

This crazy customer got me thinking earlier this week. She was an old woman with a hokey Minnesota accent. She came into the store looking for a children's Bible to give to her new grandson. She had no idea what the name of this particular Bible was, and of course, every Bible I showed her was completely the wrong. She would try to describe it. "It has a white cover." That does me a lot of good. And she kept saying, "You know what I'm talking about." No, lady, I don't have any clue what you're talking about. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if somebody didn't take their medicine this morning and wandered away from the home.
But I digress.
After about half an hour of looking, she finally finds a Bible - with a yellow cover. We go up front to check-out. While waiting to pay, our friend discovers the wall of wood planks with inscriptions. These have Bible verses, patriotic sayings, etc. She finds one that quotes Psalm 33:12a, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (NIV) She proceeds to read the inscription out loud followed by a desperate exclamation of, "Yes, we are so blessed; we are so blessed, Lord. Please don't leave us, Lord. Please don't leave us. Don't leave us."
It was the way she said it as she looked at the wall. There was genuine fear in both her voice and the way she looked. It was actually very sad. And I wondered, how often do we do things out of fear? Maybe it's fear that God will leave us or that a spouse will stop loving us, but we do or don't do things motivated simply by fear.
I don't want to sound like a pastor giving a sermon, but it was just all very sad. And I can't seem to forget her or the way she almost cried at the thought of God retreating. A thought that was all too tangible for her. And I soon realized there wasn't a whole lot separating me from her at that moment. And that's the really sad part.

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