Coat of Many Fears

Feb 26, 2010

I’m taking a course through the Memphis School of Servant Leadership called Fear, Courage and Christian Discipleship. The textbook is Following Jesus in A Culture of Fear by Scott Bader-Saye. During the first chapter alone, my head got tired from so many up-and-down nods in affirmation of his ideas. One of  Bader-Saye’s examples of cultural fear is that we have opted for “safe parenting” rather than “good parenting.” I am guilty of this tendency. But not only was/am I a fearful parent, but fear is a permanent part of my wardrobe in all aspects of my life.

Instead of wearing a Joseph-like “coat of many colors”, I  wear a “coat of many fears.” I mustered up enough courage  to draw my coat. Here’s what it looks like.

In the midst of this drawing exercise I was appalled by all those patches of fear. But I also noticed something. There are things I used to fear, but no longer fear. I’m making progress. The patches next to the coat are now badges of courage. Maybe one day I’ll have enough of those badges to make a whole colorful coat of courage–or at least a short jacket.

I’m not a proponent of being fearless. Fear is sometimes an attention getter, a protection against foolish behavior, and a life-saver. But I want fear in its proper place, under submission to the God described in 2 Timothy: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV

Sybil MacBeth ©2010