A fearless heart in the back of a wagon.

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I’m not afraid of this world.

There was a time when I became very, very afraid. Like when I first became a Christian and it was that scene from The Stepford Wives all over again. I’d look around, and I’d see nothing but blind people more concerned for their caramel macchiato orders than the truth happening all around them.

I used to be one of those people. Hardcore.

In the beginning, it’s scary. You lose everything you know. You lose yourself, or at least the person you thought was yourself. You lose friends or people you thought were your friends. You look up, and you’re alone.

But then you remember, you’re never really alone.

I used to never feel alone growing up. Even without submitting to God, I could feel Him even though I denied it. Sure, I had horrible phases of anxiety and depression and the loneliness that seeps in came with the whole shebang. But I almost felt like someone was watching me, reading me like a character in a book.

What’s happening now all around us doesn’t surprise me. There’s no fear in my heart.

If anything, it gives further evidence of what the Bible has said all along: we are losing ourselves and taking each other with us.

It’s easy to do when you refuse to bend your knee.

I wrote a poem once called “When We go to the Butcher.” It’s about being taken and sitting in the back of a horse-drawn wagon and silently writing an apology letter to my daughter in my head. In the poem, I watch her face, her hands, the everything she’ll never get to be because the enemy’s won, and I’m helpless to save her from her fate. Here’s that poem:


WHEN WE GO TO THE BUTCHER

When we go to the butcher,

I’ll hold your hand so hard

my memory will seep

through your pores

and you’ll be looking

down on your little eyes

and little nose

and two lips glued

tight into a cherub’s smile

and you will hear my heart

at your ear

and the way it says “I’m sorry.”

When we go to the butcher

your father will be sitting

at my right and at my left,

an empty place where fear

resides, and if I could

be a something better.

we’d never be riding

in the first place.

When we go to the butcher

remember all those times,

but not just the good.

Remember me, a little

monster,

a fly off the handle,

hellish time of a girl

turned woman

turned something

turned and pickled

with fear’s empty space.

But when we go to the butcher

also know about my brave

little heart.

How courage is what lights

it a-thump.

And alights yours, too,

with my hopelessly

hopeful prayers.


But isn’t that every day though? The idea that we really have no control over anything?

Our children are not ours. WE are not ours. Ownership belongs to God alone and we are merely here to enact His will, one that trumps anything we could ever plan to do.

There’s no fear when somebody else is in charge. There’s just constant observation and a heart struggling with the reality of seeking light in the darkness.

And really, you can’t even hear the “I’m sorry” that plays on my lips anymore.


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