Fear Not

His old wireless fence collar beeped when he would enter the buffer zone, so I suppose that is part of the problem. And the other day I was trying to find the source of another beep in the house and set off one of the smoke alarms, he didn’t care for that either. A couple of nights ago I thought it would be fun to get his “growly talking” on video so I used the video camera on my phone that beeps when I first turn it on, he was not impressed. Last night TruDee tried it with no success and then I gave it one more try and our sixty five pound baby literally crawled up into TruDee’s lap. Simeon does not like “beeps.”

He has been conditioned to some degree that a beep is something to warn him, warn us, something that is not designed to be a good thing. And I suppose too with a dog’s sensitive hearing it probably hurts his ears. Nonetheless I will try to be mindful of his sensitivity to the dreaded beeps when he is in my presence.

I ponder and consider our culture and society and it seems we are conditioned as well, or at least there would be those who would want us conditioned toward fear. I think especially in the current political and religious climate we live in. Often times rather than discussing facts, or sharing ideas for solution, or being welcoming and inclusive we hear how afraid we should be of “the other.”

One doesn’t have to do much to be told again and again through the day just how scary life is, the “other” politician is, or just how afraid we should be of those who are perhaps different than us in color, status, sexual orientation, theology, gender, age, nationality, well the list could go on and on, it seems to me there is no limit to who or what many would try to condition us to be afraid of.

The news, the internet, Facebook, twitter, church signs, emails, and a whole host of other sources are a constant drone of fear and dread which would have us react out of that fear rather than respond in true understanding and engagement.

As a community of faith I hope we try to find some levity in our lives and in our thoughts and considerations. I hope we take some time to do a little of our own research to discover facts and truth rather than information that is at best misleading and at worse just a blatant lie designed to make us afraid.

You know it is a little like Simeon, I have no doubt he will continue for some time fearful of those beeps. He has a new collar though that does not beep and with much love and positive reinforcement one day he will perhaps know he has nothing to fear.

Such is life for we who claim to be progressive and welcoming. There is a lot of fearful propaganda out there. But perhaps if we continue to be a force and a voice for truth, facts, positive reinforcement, and love we can help others know fear is not the way to be in the world, but rather Love is the Way.

It is one of the many ways we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the family. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table. Not Your Ordinary Church. Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.

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