Monday, April 26, 2010

Scary Lovin

Fear is the enemy of love. 

I don't often read novels, but The Shape of Mercy recently came highly recommended from a friend, so I'm reading. Last night, I read the above quote by St. Augustine on the dedication page and I paused to decide whether or not I agreed. 

Enemies are, by definition, opposed. An enemy is an adversary, out to conquer the opponent. The only way to lose an enemy is to kill it or to befriend it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. When the enemies are ideas rather than people, friendship can't be possible. Fear and love...can they co-exist? I could end the argument right here with 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." True. So why is there still so much fear surrounding love? The key phrase there was perfect love. Perfection. Hardly how I describe my love. 

Let's face it. If perfect love can't exist among humans, that leads to one conclusion: fear exists in love. But fear doesn't get comfortable, or love wouldn't survive. It's interesting. Fear can fight hard once and kill love for good, but love can fight hard once and win, but never completely kill fear. It lurks, and pounces when you least expect it. To love is to fight a constant battle with fear. BUT to fear is to never truly live at all. Living in fear is not really living because you never do anything with all your heart. We fear rejection, we fear failure, we fear giving everything we have for something that doesn't satisfy. Is that reason enough to forfeit? I would rather live a short life with all my heart then live a dreadfully safe life well into my 90s. 

One of my best friends and I have had several battles with fear in our own friendship. I recall refusing to look at her, facing the corner opposite her in our hotel bathroom as she faced her corner. Two 14-year-old girls, on a school road-trip to California, fighting because we were scared of keeping the friendship the way it was. But we were more afraid of losing the friendship altogether. That's where love kicked in. We've made it through some bumps since and I dare say there's a good chance we'll make it all the way to the end. 

What if we lived in a world where love never conquered fear, or was never willing to put up a good fight? What if good never defeated evil? What if life never conquered death? Spring never conquered winter? 

I wouldn't have the little pink blossom tree to eat breakfast with every morning. 



I would never be hanging off the back of a tricycle like this one.




Little Jonny wouldn't have to try to forget this haircut I once gave him. 




This definitely wouldn't happen.




We wouldn't enjoy some of the world's very best music. 
We wouldn't travel or explore.
We wouldn't smile.
We wouldn't hope. 
We wouldn't have a Savior that offers life to the fullest.

What I'm trying to say is, St. Augustine, I never thought I would get so much out of reading the dedication page of a novel. But I agree with you. Fear is the enemy of love. 
And fear is worth fighting if love is the prize. 

2 comments:

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