I have an unnatural fear of insects. I'll tell a story on myself. Last night, after several days of two two year-olds going in and out, in and out, in and out of our back door, we found 14 flies in our living room. As the night wore on and we got ready for bed the lights in the bathroom drew 5 flies into our bedroom, which made SHW none-too-happy and sent her on a fly killing spree. One of the dazed, but not dead, flies landed on my pillow.
NOPE. Didn't like it.
Rather than squish the thing on my pillow, or flick it off, remember I'm afraid for insects for no real reason, I picked up the whole pillow and hoped to drop the thing in the toilet before it could wake up. It was, without a doubt, a stupid plan, but in my fear it was the only reasonable one.
Fear does funny things to us. It makes the illogical logical. It makes the rational irrational. It makes the smart dumb.
For the disciples, on that first Easter they huddled in an upper room, behind a locked door, out of fear. Someone had either taken their beloved Rabbi's body or he was risen from the dead, and either way, they were terrified. Jesus enters the locked-up room and twice offers them shalom, peace.
As I reflect on the Gospel today, I'm struck by how often fear is a motivating factor in the decisions we make. In God's economy, however, fear is to be replaced by peace. How often does peace motivate my own decisions? Rarely.
It seems as though the only way to fix that tendency toward fear is a one-on-one encounter with the risen Lord. Not just seeing, not just touching his hands, but a sticking my whole hand in his side sort of encounter. To do that these days, requires extra special vision, the type that allows one to see Jesus in the midst of troubling circumstances. The type that allows peace to reign over fear. I've got a set of those glasses, thanks to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, not if I would only use them more often.