Monday, July 11, 2016

Fear is Like the Daddy Long Legs

I just observed a daddy long legs--a big one--crawling off the rail to thes side of me as I sat on the front step at Hidden Hollow Homestead (which is seemingly our summer home). He came out from behind my coffee cup and gangled his awkward strings of legs up over the white wood rail, moving the sharp mouth-pincers about in a nervous way.

He looked a fright. Those yellow pincers, sharp; and would they inflict a bite, or poison into the skin? His ghastly overlong legs shivering through space. How they would feel on the back of my neck... He looked like fear itself.

And then I realized: fear itself is exactly like this spider. Shaky, ugly, inducing the shivers. Hungry yellow mandibles, and looking like a formidable adversary. And yet--afraid himself, with very little power--no power, in fact, to do damage to me. The power of fear is only that which is given to it by those that actually do have power--the children of God. And when we forget that we are the powerful ones, the "most frightening things in this place" (paraphrase from Robinson Crusoe, a passage of literature that has changed my life), that's when we look at fear and get all a-shiver. How ugly it is! How menacing! And how, then, we cower before something that is nothing but an ugly, impotent spider, that knows in its very body that it is meant to die, and exists only to get a last meal in the shadows before it is found out and ultimately smashed.

Fear is nothing but a fear. I will not fear a fear.

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