I had a thought the other day, when I was afraid in the car on the way to grocery shop. I wasn't afraid to grocery shop, I was afraid of some new complications for my son and his disease, it's messing with his eyes. The prayer went something like, "Lord, they're his eyes. They're so fragile and so vital. He needs those."
A thought struck me, like my kids strike each other when they are adamant and want attention. It was friendly, but urgent.
I thought: Fear is unbecoming.
I thought, at first, this meant unattractive. A turn-off for friends and family, for anyone I'm leading. Who wants to be around someone who is afraid? But the thought sank into me for a bit and that's when I realized this:
Fear is un-becoming.
It undoes what's built and alive. It destroys the potential for what could be, what could be coming. It wants to snuff out any light, take the heart and meaning out of a fight. It steals joy and paralyzes you in hopelessness, despair. It makes you myopic. It clouds your vision.
Fear is un-becoming.
There is a small shift I made then, the fear didn't disappear, it didn't evaporate before my eyes. It's still there, still with me. The shift was my internal gaze. I stopped looking at it only. I stopped looking down at it and picked up my chin to look forward.
And there was hope.
A small bird swooped in front of the windshield while I sat at a stoplight, almost to the store.
Emily Dickinson writes:
"Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all."
Hope is this frail and fragile thing, it's got hollow bones, that's so it can fly. It asks you to look up, to keep listening.
Connor has a rheumatologist appointment today. I'm expecting there to be more meds, more new, scary things I didn't know to worry about. I just need to remind myself: Fear is un-becoming. Hope is a songbird. Like my yoga instructor says: gaze forward, heart open, head up.
Good things are coming. Hard things, most definitely, but good things too. I'm always now praying for clear eyes for both of us.