Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Adventures in Germany, Faith, Memoir, Personal | 8 comments

Every time I walk out of my front door alone, I am afraid.

Bobbie's boy

It's not that I fear for my safety, nothing like that.  Leaving my little apartment, the one place I know in a foreign country, means journeying among the unknown.

It's uncomfortable.

It's unnerving.

And I'm always at a disadvantage.

The murmer of words that envelop me are foreign; what is white noise to me is symphony to everyone else.  

When I gather a full enough cup of courage, I try their words on.  They never fit.  I wear them shyly, reluctantly, childishly, but they usually earn a sympathic smile from a stranger.

Bless my heart bless my heart bless my ever-lovin', Southern heart, in the ways that reek pity and deserve a tongue's cluck and a head shake. 

I'm a toddler, a pre-schooler, speechless and wide-eyed; but I'm also an old dog, and new tricks are so very hard to learn. 

I'm lacking the pre-schooler's bravado.  Have you ever considered the courage it takes to be three?  I haven't.  EVERYthing is new!  He has to learn everything from scratch.  How to walk and talk and feed and clothe himself.  Letters and numbers and how each one holds hands to mean something more!  How to behave, how not to behave, what matters to whom, and how to play games…and how to play life

Learning is way of life for a little.  She accepts it, she embraces it, she doesn't resist it like an old dog.  I bet Jesus said "Let the little children come…" because of this; learning, accepting, embracing as a child is as natural as breathing in and out.  Wearying are the ones who curl up and turn deaf ear because they already know enough, or everything they think they need to know. 

New sponge, porous and thirsty, ready to do its job; soaking up all that is poured out.  Sponges are born learners; I always relegated them to lowly cleaning accessory but now I want to be a sponge.

I can't count.  Never have I realized how important numbers are!  I'm an easy mark inviting swindler's gain, but no one takes advantage.  Time, cooking, weather, dining out, shopping–numbers stalk me at every turn.  Stupid numbers.

"Stranger" and "alien" keeps coming to mind, it's how I'm called to live, right?  Earth is my home for a wink and a blink, yet tight fist, white knuckled, I clutch it like it's forever.  There's this eternal kingdom that's mine now and for always but I prefer digging my feet in this mud and mire.

Ludicrous.  It doesn't make a bit of sense if I believe what I profess.

Fear not…!  Right?

We turn to each other often and declare, "It's a gift!" and we mean it.  The new job, fresh challenge, world travel, starting over.  But left unsaid (but known to marrow and bone) is the cost to get here ~

    struggle…

disappointment…

frustration…

void…

loss…

Shadows.

Shadows reveal sunshine.  Shadows are worthy cost to see the sunshine; to feel and cherish and appreciate and savor the sunshine.  Shadows magnify the sun.  Without shadow wouldn't we take the sun for granted?

I'm learning some things about fear; it has two sides:  

  • It is Deceiver, seeking to confuse or defeat me.
  • It is Compass, reminding me of my own limitations while pointing to the strength and sufficiency of God.  

I don't mind being afraid. 

I may not like the way it feels, but it has purpose, meaning. 

It means my slumber has shaken and I'm a l i v e .  

Dum vivimus, vivamus!

 

photo credit:  diana parkhouse