I received my Covid-19 vaccines with mixed emotions. Grateful for some form of protection while aware that absolute immunity is not guaranteed. Concerned about the possibility that I subjected myself to unnecessary risk, yet heartened by the prospect of mitigating it.
Conspiracy theories, alternate realities, rash prophecies, disinformation, and big lies are ancient techniques used to create fear—and subsequently claim the only solution to calm it—thus gaining followers. While disturbing in the sociopolitical sphere, I find these especially troubling when supported, spread, or believed by those representing Jesus. How do I respond? What do I focus on amid the myriad speculations, half truths and fake news?
Three weeks after we evacuated to Bali to escape the riots on Lombok Island, we returned to our home. On my desk I found my abandoned letter to my parents from January 17, the day the riots broke out. My last words on the unfinished page read, "We are not terribly alarmed, just being careful." I picked up where I left off.
"Wake up! Gather our belongings and meet in the hotel lobby!" Banging on the door aroused us from the beds we had just settled into. Frantically we followed orders and and joined our teammates and other guests to await our fate. There we received the news we had feared.
My devotional asks me, "What can I do to relieve the fears of others?" I am stopped short. I have been exacerbating fears, not relieving them.
With Mark in Dresden, Germany Last month, I accepted the realization that I am an anxious traveler. While I have had the privilege of traversing much of the globe as a child of missionaries and then later as one myself, I was usually accompanied by someone. Only four times in my life have I made … Continue reading Do Not Be Anxious
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. Luke 1:30 The angel's preface to his commissioning, "Do not be afraid," is the most commonly repeated command in the Bible. There is good reason for this for we are people of fear. Mary was afraid of what the angel was going to ask her to … Continue reading Command and Promise
What would I do if I wasn't afraid? I read this question and began to ponder. My heart was restless, my task too small, my soul longing for more. The TCK (third-culture-kid) part of me was itching for a new challenge, a change and yet the US part of me was liking the comfortable life … Continue reading New Directions