Do you know the crickets that come out at dusk? The ones you don’t know are there until you hear a high-pitched chirp or buzz? One of these just followed me on a Caribbean cruise for a week. It was always in the same approximate spot, on the second deck, under the steps, or behind the heavy steel door. I couldn’t actually see it, but it was always there.
Crickets are the size of small thumb nails. Was this one afraid, so far from its home, with salt air and sun beating down, in a strange environment, in a new place every day? Did it know that it might get picked up by a Booby Bird looking for a snack, or get squeezed in the door or sprayed with insecticide?
Cricket fears have to be massive compared to human fears. My first memory of fear was losing sight of my mother in the supermarket, a 3 minute separation seeming like hours. Other fears surfaced, as they do. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting into trouble (yet still doing the trouble), getting hurt, learning to swim by being glued to the edge of the pool, raising an arm to answer a question in class, asking for help …
I recently heard at church the definition of fear: When I believe that apart from my best efforts something undesirable is going to happen and I can’t stop it. The roots of it are conditioning (born into it), concealing and spirit of control. Hmmm!
Fear or worry can be grouped in many stages of my life to date, such as those teenage fears of being ridiculed, stammering (so better not speak at all), talking to boys which was worse than not having a boyfriend at all, then fearing being left a spinster … The stage of having children can bring many fears, but I am lucky to have had my children in the nineties, before the Internet and T.M.I. The fear of getting sick, yet after a diagnosis of stage 4 Melanoma over 20 years ago it takes a lot to scare me where my health is concerned.
There is one unseen illness that caught me off guard and caused a major turn around in my life. The path of depression has allowed me great things: empathy, dependence on the person of Jesus, to stop holding on to control and having to be strong all the time. Does that mean I am never afraid now? Of course not, but instead of concealing it and struggling on my own, I try to remember to reestablish visual contact with Jesus and gain a little more freedom from the big ‘F’ each time.
Eventually that fear will become the size of that chirping cricket.
Deborah has procrastinated long enough from writing and is finally taking the plunge. You can find out more about her story by visiting the archives of this blog (specifically early October of Prison Break of Thoughts).