Sunday, April 15, 2012

How to Handle Fear

When Amanda was younger, she used to be fearful of shadows. It’s easy as an adult to logically understand what causes shadows and to know that they cannot hurt you, but you cannot dispel the fear in a child’s mind using logic alone.

I used Amanda’s bedtime to play shadow games with her. I would put on the light and we would cast shadows against the wall with our hands. If trees cast shadows on the window, I’d pick her up, open the window and point out the trees. Also, whenever we took a walk and saw our own shadows, I would encourage Amanda to jump on mine and then I’d pretend, in a joking way, to get hurt. She would laugh and play along. The more she saw that shadows were a natural and normal occurrence, the less she became fearful of them.

The other night, Amanda and I took Benny, our dog, for a walk. It was already dark outside and the street lights were on. She wasn’t afraid, not even once. She even asked to play the jump-on-my-shadow game.

Being fearful is not only a childhood problem. Many adults are controlled by their fears. The Bible states that perfect love casts out fear (1John 4:18). One would have thought faith was the answer to fear, but it is love. It's a good topic to think about and an important one. We should ask ourselves throughout the day whether we are living out of fear or out of love. We can swap very quickly from one to the other. Let love rule and not fear.

The above photo was taken yesterday at my son's high school rugby game. It was the perfect morning for Amanda to play a jump-on-my-shadow game on the sidelines.

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