Fear brings down buildings, burns homes, forces children into starvation, and pushes nations into wars. Turn off the television and we discover that our personal lives are consumed by fear. We spend millions on risk-management, insuring, and protecting what we own. Fear dictates how we parent, where we live, and how we view the world.
Fearing the stray dog that roams the neighborhood can be healthy. But allowing the dog to keep us from playing catch with our children in the front yard is destructive. If fear is the driving force of your life, then it is not really life you are experiencing. If fear consumes you, it consumes your relationships.
The opening narrative of Exodus is a story of fear prevailing. Pharaoh has allowed the fear of the “other” to determine his political decision of enslavement and genocide.
Where fear seeks to control, compassion rescues. Down at the river, Pharaoh’s daughter hears a whimper through the reeds. She recognizes the infant as one of the Hebrew children and instead of obeying the ruthlessness of her father, she protects the child and seeks his well-being. Instead of fearing the child of another race, she accepts and brings him into her world. At risk of her own life, she brings a fugitive child into her home. A simple act of civil disobedience changes the course of history for the people of God.
Don’t let your life be dominated by fear. Choose compassion. May it be the life-preserver of compassion that leads us to the drowning waters of racism, injustice, and poverty so that all God’s people may live.