From a missionary blog called workinglove.blogspot.com. It was one that ministered to me as I continue to wrestle with the Lk 8 verses.
“Please, please, carry me!” she screams and attempts to climb up my body with no help from me.
She starts to cry as they approach her.
Two puppies that stand about a foot tall each.
She is terrified. Or I suppose since she is Ugandan she would say that “she is fearing them”.
In general, Ugandans are very fearful of dogs and she is no exception. For the first week and a half of staying with us she would hold our hands tightly, pop her thumb in her mouth and whimper as we forced her to walk and not be carried through our yard. Sometimes reaching the gate she would erupt into cheers of triumph and bravery. On not so good days, she would burst into tears of fear.
But we refused to carry her.
Now, before everyone thinks we are horrible and have no compassion, there is a reason we refused to carry her. We didn’t want her to spend the entire time that she stayed with us crying in fear due to our dogs. I knew they could be potential playmates for her if only she would get past the fear.
That’s the thing about fear. It is not only a negative feeling but it simultaneously holds captive potential good feelings and experiences. Not only was her fear causing her anxiety in the moment, but it was preventing her from the love that many children have for pets.
But that’s the thing about love….it casts out fear.
For me, one of the best ways to overcome fear is to love even more.
Do I fear malaria?
Yes. But not as much as I love Uganda.
Do I fear having my heart broken by a friendship?
Yes. But not as much I love my dear friends.
Did I fear making a commitment to a man to stand by him for the rest of my life?
Yes. But not as much as I love that man.
Do I fear HIV and TB?
Yes. But not nearly as much as I love the ones who harbor these diseases.
Because love is blinding and when you have enough of it for something the fear evaporates like water on a hot day. Ask any bungee jumper, sky diver, or crazy-in-love teenager. It makes me wonder how many times God has chosen not to carry me in my times of fear only to give me the potential gift of love for a new experience, place, or person.
Today, she spent the morning outside by herself, playing with our two dogs. She called them by name and tried to teach them tricks. She rubbed their bellies and filled their water.
“Auntie, Auntie, you see!” She would yell every so often and try and imitate what the dogs were doing so I could watch.
Now, her main topic of conversation is Otis and Duke and our home has been lovingly renamed “Two Dogs” (the hotel down the street is named “Two Friends”). I assume she is referring to our pets and not Chris and me….
She came in from a long morning of playing with them both, grabbed my hand, looked up at me, and sighed,
“Auntie, I love them now.”