The other day my oldest son said that he was scared of me. I was shocked. I’ve never threatened him or been violent with him, so what did he have to be afraid of? He said that my voice sounds scary and strict, and when I get angry (ok, I admit I do get angry when my kids are acting like goofballs) I raise my voice and it gets scarier.
Ok, I guess I could understand that. I was scared of my dad too when I was growing up. He didn’t hit me or anything, but he was just scary because I was always afraid that my acting like a goofball (oh, that’s where my kids get it from) like all the time would annoy him and get me in trouble.
So my remedy (at least I’ve been trying for now), is to show my kids that when and if I’m angry, that I still love them and want what is best for them. I admit that it isn’t easy to control my emotions (like anger), but I can control the outcome of those emotions. I try to laugh with them more and joke around when something goes wrong, so then they’ll see that while I can be angry it doesn’t mean that I hate them or anything like that.
Today, for example, Ryan was feeling anxious about something and I said to him, “at least you didn’t fall into a lake”. He laughed and smacked his forehead with his hand. (for those of you who weren’t at church today, I shared that I fell into a lake yesterday).
I wonder how often we are afraid of God. I wonder if we ever feel like God is too strict with all these rules and commandments and we need to follow them or we’ll have to face the wrath of God (which in my mind is usually lightening and thunder). I wonder if we sometimes hold God away at an arm’s length (or further) because we’re just scared of what would happen when and if we screw up.
“Do not be afraid, little flock.” Jesus’ words are reassuring and I’m pretty sure that was the intention. We often forget that it is God’s joy to give us good things. Instead, we focus on the brimstone and fire and act like we need to walk on eggshells out of fear.
But the bible is full of stories of God’s goodness. From the promise that God gave and kept to Abraham (nee Abram) we see in the first reading, to the reminders of faith that we get in the second reading, and to Jesus being all Jesus and stuff, showing us all the good that God does, has done, and continues to do in and for us.
So instead of being afraid (or offended to be called “little flock”), we can live in confident joy that God gives and will continue to give us good things, even when we don’t always see or recognise them.
…why, this sounds like a “God moment” ;). Cherish these holy moments and lift them up. For you all are truly God’s beloved children!
Have a great week, everyone!