Thursday, November 30, 2006

our fears

We had a good and helpful "chapel" today, good for Christian formation, I thought. Evan Morgan, who lives in Colorado, and is here in Grand Rapids, Michigan quite often, working with us- spoke from his journal. His cute (we saw his picture), young grandson's words prompted him to the subject he shared with us. He was about to fly here, and was telling his grandson that. His grandson thoughtfully -with long thought- replied. He asked Evan, with uncertainty in his face, whether Grandpa (he has his own special name for Grandpa) when he comes back, will come and find him. Evan made it clear to him that he always would do that. Then his grandson's (I can't remember his name) face changed, and he said, "Then, let's play."

Evan said that he is not a person who is known to be fearful. That fear, or being afraid, is not words that are in his mind. But looking at his life, and himself, he realized that throughout his life, he has had fears that he has had to negotiate. For example, as a young man, he had cancer. He had to battle all the fears that accompany that. And now, in his life, he could see he had fears of certain possible losses.

Evan said that he knows God's promises, that he will never leave nor forsake his children. Yet this just didn't move from his head to his heart.

One night, Evan, saying he was in a more or less grumpy mood, was looking out into the Colorado night sky. He seemed to have a sense that he should keep looking. He came upon Orion's belt. Three stars, perfectly lined up together. He thought, these could be millions of light years apart. This was remarkable in itself.

Later, he happened upon a photo from high powered telescopes of the middle star. It is actually a nebula, and is a world of stars and planets, and even universes, in itself. As you see from the picture, it looks like a mess. (Actually, I'm missing the dots and connections, as I can't verify what Evan said. Either I can't find the information Evan has, I misunderstood him, or he is mistaken, and the mess is actually just below Orion's belt. Can anyone help me here?)

Then God seemed to speak to Evan. Something like: That looks like a mess, and it is, but it all lines up to me. Evan was putting it together. God would always find him, in the midst of life, with all its uncertainty and messes, when all seems out of control. (Evan had mentioned that he is good at fixing problems. But when something is not manageable, that's where faith comes in. And Evan, uncomfortably for himself, no longer can fix it.) God's heart and hand is in everthing.

Evan said that we have God's presence and promises, and that is enough. So we can play, in doing the thing together- and with God, we were made to do.

What do you see in your life as out of control? What fears do we often carry with us throughout the day? Or that are ongoing? How can God help us, when the storms of life hit us? How can we be better open to that help, and live in anticipation of it?


L.L. Barkat said...

I love the night sky... the stars... even though all that space makes me feel small...

it is remarkable, really, that God "finds us" as Evan says, tiny as we are in the scheme of things. "What is man that you are mindful of him?"

jps said...


It is called the Horsehead nebula, and is a wonderful example of God's creativity. A good picture of it is here


Ted Gossard said...

Thanks, L.L. Me too. Nothing quite like a bright summer's night (or anytime, for that matter) with a clear sky.

Unlike Bible characters, we too often, I'm afraid, don't reflect enough on God's good and great creation. And how God sees us in it all.

Ted Gossard said...


Thanks so much. What a wonderful picture. And the more we learn about such things, the more in awe we become of God as Creator.

Allan R. Bevere said...


God's presence and promises. That is enough." May I take those words to heart throughout each day.

Ted Gossard said...

Amen, Allan.