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  • Reverend James Squire

When Fear Knocks On Our Door, Faith Says No One Is Home

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

There was an opinion piece on July 21, 2020 in the Inquirer by Janet Bednarek about the current plight of the airlines. The U.S. airline industry has two historic obstacles: Fear and fares. They had the same plight after 9/11. Back then the FAA, Congress and the White House were all on the same page. Today there is a mishmash of policies and why fly if you have nowhere to go? After 9/11 we were united and the airlines and airports made adjustments so that people felt safe. Today we are living in a partisan world with fear and being scared are part of everyday life.

There is a difference between fear and being scared. Being scared is something that we usually have some choice over. It is why Stephen King had so many readers. When asked why he thought this was so, he responded by saying that his books sold a lot for the same reason that we slow down when driving to see an accident that has occurred. We like to get close to being scared. We are scared when we choose to ride that roller coaster which says that you should not get on if you have a heart condition.

Fear on the other hand is a condition in life where we haven’t chosen the circumstances that surround the condition. We are living in fear with the virus that we have not chosen and could kill us. Our essential workers go to work each day afraid. It is uncertain about how Black Lives Matter will turn out for protesters, police, and Black people and everybody else. This was not so much a choice as timing and history merged. For both of these events we know that life will not be the same going forward.

Being scared focuses on specific events. Being afraid is a way of life. It is worth noting that “Be not afraid” is mentioned 365 times in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus walking on the water and Psalm 23 are the two most familiar passages although Jesus uses the phrase, “Be not afraid”, or a variation in countless other situations. In Psalm 23 The King James Version we say, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil….”

There are few mentions of faith by the media today although that, in my opinion, may be key to our security and hope. We only hear the importance of the religious quest when we are given notice of when houses of worship can be opened to how many people at a time. One of my favorite hymns has the refrain, “Be not afraid. I go before you always, Come and follow me, and I will give you rest.”

As I passed a restaurant in the city there was a sign in the window that stopped me in my tracks. It said: When fear knocks on our door, our faith will indicate that no one is home.”

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