I have known fear, perhaps not as some have known it but many know fear one way or another, at one time or another, to such an extent that it cripples, paralyzes the soul. We think we have security in this world until one day we are rudely awakened from our pipe-dream. Security in this world is but an illusion. When our disillusionment comes, its comrade-in-arms is often fear. But that disillusionment needn’t be our enemy. In truth, it can be a friend in disguise.
Nor do we need to fear as though there is no such thing as true and sure security, for then we would be prey to a lie, to our own destruction. There IS a sure security for those who will avail themselves of it.
My fear rides me like a stern rider
Rides his horse.
Unless I run his pace,
His spurs dig deep my sides.
I think blood flows at times…I’m sure of it.
I scarcely dare to think, to pause
For fear I have a rider
Who will not show me mercy
Who will not grant me pardon
Who will not make a move
To relent, to ease my pain.
“Run!” he says. I run.
“Faster!” says he. I go faster.
“Faster isn’t good enough! You’ve had it!”
I think that if I drop,
I have sweet release.
He whips me as I fall.
Fear is not afraid to beat a dead horse.
He seems to relish it, delight in it.
The compassion of fear is tyranny,
His patience only scorn.
He takes the meat and feeds it to minks,
And then I think, “Aha!
There is rest in the mouths of minks,
Fear has no torment there!”
Until I find that my rider
Is possessor of minks as well.
He rides the minks
And feeds them me.
Fear holds all in Hell,
And when he skins the little ones
And sells their hides for gain,
Scarcely do the buyers know
They’re clothed with fear and pain.
Lethbridge, August, 1984
Our Lord's final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him "Master." Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal. Such a pleasant face! What a wonderful disposition! What do you want from me? Or is it just that you have nothing to lose? How easy it is to be pleasant And helpful and polite; How easy it is to show one self noble And virtuous, even saintly When there is something to be gained, And the one with whom you are friendly has it. Here, take what it is you are after. I am so happy to give it to such A pleasant fellow as you... As long as you'll promise me To keep your end of the bargain. I expect you'll be as congenial as you are now, When once you have what you seek from me. You tell me you are honest; You tell me you are reasonable and deserving And just and upstanding and unselfish. Fair enough! Here it is! I could not have given it to a better man. But sir, what about your promise? What promise!? A misunderstanding?! I was mistaken? But you said..! I'm trying to get blood out of a stone you say? Unreasonable?! But it's broken! You guaranteed it worked! "As is" you say? "Buyer beware" you say? Why is your face clouded? Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty? Where are the meekness, the gentleness, The politeness, the smiles? Where...
It is bad enough to watch a dog vomit though by vomiting it may well expel that which ails it. Then it is a pleasant experience to behold a healthy creature. But bad is bad when one witnesses the return of a dog to its vomit only to lick it up again. I do not know of many more disgusting spectacles to witness in all of existence. Up from the pits of Hell Come the vilest of the vile; These are the has-beens of yester-year, Full of venom and guile. These have known the truth of God; They have known His love and power, His mercy to loveless men; His goodness has made them sour. Why do angels fall? Why do just men call On gods who have nothing to give? Why do fools choose death In order that they may live? Now here is a marvelous thing That would make any devil sing: It is easier to find The seeing man crying to be blind Than it is the blind to see. Lethbridge, Alta., June 1985
The Lord is about reconciling, and not utterly destroying the first Adam in us