This afternoon, [I read the message that Shane Claiborne shared](https://www.redletterchristians.org/dont-sleep-through-the-revolution/) at the opening of the Revival in Dallas that his organization, Red Letter Christians, is leading this weekend. It is called the Red-Letter Revival – A Jesus & Justice Revival. It was a powerful message but one line really stood out to me. In referring to the passage in 1 John 4:18 (which says, “Perfect love casts out fear”), he also notes that fear can also cast out love. He goes on to say, “When fear rather than love compels us, we do really terrible things to other people. This is a moment where we must decide which master we will serve – love or fear, and many have chosen fear.”
This has been a big thing for me the last few years. Which of these masters – fear or love – will I serve? I think that in years past, I allowed myself to serve fear far more than love. Holding back rather than stepping in. Staying silent rather than speaking up. But I feel one of the areas that God has worked in me is allowing me to live in and to love rather that in and to fear.
There’s an analogy in this to the picture with this post – This past week, we had our first bit of winter weather here and had a pretty heavy ice storm that blew through. When we got up Thursday morning, most everything was coated in about .25” of ice. On the one hand it was really pretty – the covering of ice makes the world look rather pretty. But the reality is far different. We had neighbors’ houses that were damaged by falling tree limbs, power lines were taken down, and so forth. So, when we don’t think too much about it, the ice looked pretty nice and got some nice photographs. However, thinking a bit more about it…not so nice.
Fear and love are like this. With the ice storm this week, we can see the beauty underneath and through the ice. But you can’t reach it because the ice is not only holding it back but it is breaking what is beautiful underneath. The weight of the ice breaks the limbs of the trees that are not yet ready for winter and damages even more when those limbs fall. When we live holding onto all the fears that are around us, those fears cover up what we can and should be – people of love, grace, and beauty. Again, as 1 John says, perfect love casts our fear. Like the Lord has been stirring in me all month…double down on love. Love, love, and love some more. Let love cast out the fears that paralyze and cripple and instead choose love in how we will be generous, caring, compassionate, and hopeful.