A year ago, in May of 2019, I participated in an Illuman MROP (Men’s Rite of Passage) in Washington. In the course of that experience, I recognized my name and truth.
“I AM Jedidiah, Beloved of Jehovah,” I wrote in my journal, “and I am Free to Love without Fear.”
“May my Eyes be full of light and without judgment.
May me Ears be open and discerning.
May my Heart be full of wisdom and compassion.
In this way, Lord, teach me to Love without Fear.”
Back on trail with Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy, I found myself seeking to understand what Love without Fear looked like in practice. Now, a year later, I would like to share thoughts from my trail journal with fellow pilgrims.
“Love without Fear.
That really was supposed to be the message all along, wasn’t it? The hope we had in Jesus Christ was the love of the Father without the fear of hell. But we literalized hell and heaven became our escape instead of our reality, and before you know it, we’re regretting the past (or glamorizing it) and anxious about the future, which made the Present a fearful place.
What does love without fear look like? It looks like Jesus washing Judas’ feet. It looks like Jesus forgiving humanity on the cross. It looks like a broken tree lying on the ground covered in moss. It looks like a stream curving around every obstacle, shedding life along its banks. It is the Father running to embrace the Prodigal Son. It is the elder brother going into the celebration of his younger brother’s return. It is a husband revealing his heart to his wife rather than just leaving her. It is the new growth of spring and the golden leaf that falls in the Autumn. Fearless love never looks for an escape. It sees things through, trusting that there is enough time for what is meant to be.
When we are young we are like saplings, small and thin, fragile and alone. We fight against the world for our survival, our identity, and all around us is threat and death. As we grow taller we gain a new perspective. We begin to see how our survival is intricately linked to the ecosystem around us. And soon, we have our own contribution to make, our own fruit to bear, our own seed to produce, our own Gift to share.
Love without fear stops trying to escape the struggle of life, stops trying to make the journey an easy one, and embraces the whole experience for what it is, and offers itself to life through its Gift.
I want my life to exemplify love without fear. I want love without fear in my relationship to God, my wife, and my kids. I want love without fear in my work, my words, and all that I create. I want people who encounter me to feel free to love without fear.”
How have you experienced Love without Fear?