I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
“I’m not sending the kids up, since you are asleep.”
This is what my husband had declared to me as he got the kids off to school. Part of the morning routine he has handled for several years.
This morning I was not getting up and getting ready to head to my own school. An on-line threat kept area schools closed. I was home for the day.
Now, letting me sleep in was a kind gesture. But I was up. I wasn’t going back to sleep, and as I lay there I had this thought for the very first time: “No. I have to get up and hug them, and tell them I love them. What if they don’t come home?”
For the first time, I feared that. That I would be at home. My kids would be at school. And I would not be able to reach them, keep them safe, or even get them home. And, my kids are Caucasian. Not even the intended “target.”
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Terror. Fear. Being scared. Anxious. These things come from the enemy. Constant worry and panic is an attack from the devil to keep our eyes away from the one who can conquer evil. It’s Satan’s tactic to keep us crippled so we can’t act. So we can’t move our hands and feet to show up where love needs to be seen. To show it. To give it.
You know what else comes from Satan? Let’s be honest: Hate. The kind that thinks it’s OK to instill fear in a group of people, simply because they don’t look, think, see things the same way we do.
Let’s call it what it is: Evil. Sin.
Nothing of this kind of act is born of love.
I can sit here in fear. Fear for my children. Fear for those that aren’t mine that I love and care for deeply.
Or I can do something to make sure that fear and terror, caused by the enemy does not take residence in my heart.
I choose to love and teach my kids to love all the same. If it makes us a target. So be it.
I choose to teach my children that hate language of any kind is not accepted. Not in our house. Not at school. Not in their community.
I choose to teach my kids to stand up and speak out against those who use unkindness and hate speech to intimidate and create fear in others. To call out the bully. The mean people. Let them know it’s not OK. It’s not just the “way they are.” Because we are called to be better.
I choose to teach my kids to love the outcast. To eat with the lonely. To love the unloveable. To break bread with everyone, even those that are far different. Because that’s how we learn from each other. That’s how we grow. That’s how we ensure that people are not feared.
I may be just one little white woman. I may not be able to change an entire world with my love. Or my kindness.
But I can be a living example for my white children. So they know hatred and bigotry of any kind is not accepted. That we will not fear the message of love that comes from Christ. That we will love, honor, respect, and walk with people from all walks of life.
Even if we don’t look like them.
Even if we don’t talk like them.
Even if we don’t believe like them.
We will not fear love.