Did something happen while you were sleeping?
Did you wake up to an atmosphere of fear?
Then, did you experience a realization that there was nothing to fear? Or that your fear was focused more on the messenger than the message?
It could have been subliminal. You know — leaving the television on while falling asleep, an old movie playing, mixing with your dreams.
No, not an earworm of music. A simple repetition of words.
Few words. Important words. Hard hitting words.
Words, perhaps, by Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
To which your mind responds, “What?!”
Until you hear, “Do, without fear.” And you know it’s going to be alright.
By this point in time, you’d like to think that as a person of faith, you would have gained an understanding of fear.
Not just the word, but its advocates.
There are those who thrive on fear. In the midst of which, facts don’t matter.
When that happens, panic reigns. As does division. As does disarray.
Or, as Yoda said, “Fear leads to anger. anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Unfortunately, so long as it’s someone else’s suffering, we are too often willing to overlook or, sadly, embrace fear.
Right now, while you are reading this, there are people of faith in your community who are afraid.
Some are here with documents, some are here without. Some are here on visas, some are seeking asylum. Some were brought here when they were children, and some are your neighbors. Some are new citizens of this country, some have been citizens for a long time, and some are not citizens at all.
If measured by recent headlines, despite the injunction of blessedness in the 28th Chapter of Matthew, some have reason to be afraid. And even if they don’t, you’re going to find yourself turning blue in the face in your efforts to tell them they should not be afraid.
You’ve got to do, anyway. If you don’t. Fear wins.
When fear wins, everything you are not about is set into motion, has the chance to gain momentum, and leads to a result you did not imagine could happen in a community filled with people with good, and sometimes great, intentions.
Right now, someone is trying to make you afraid. When you respond with fear, their next goal is to make you angry. If you’re not careful, you’ll allow them to turn your anger into hate.
Which leads to suffering.
Please remember this: When someone else suffers, everyone suffers.
Everyone includes you.
So don’t try, Do. Without fear. Today is your chance. Tomorrow looks like a pretty good day to try to Do, too.