Magic and Beauty

"The one thing we owe absolutely to God is never to be afraid of anything." - Charles de Foucauld

For ten years following the tragic terror attack on 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security utilized a color-coded threat level warning system.  

I remember going to the airport and hearing the soothing tone of an announcer declaring, "The current threat level is orange."  I would wonder, "What exactly is orange?" Am I supposed to be afraid?  What does this mean?"  

The idea itself was unnerving, especially because it was being announced over a loudspeaker in eerily Orwellian fashion.  Although the color-coded system has been abandoned, there is still an underlying sense of anxiety that exists in our culture that is hard to shake. 

I am beginning to believe that as a society we have lived so long with the spectre of terror over us that we have begun to internalize it.  We are slowly becoming what we fear, and are losing our ability to see the truth, beauty, and goodness all around us.  

We were meant for more than this.  Jesus declared repeatedly that his purpose was to bring life to people--life in all of its fullness.  He told his followers over and over again that they were lights in the world, bearers of God's kingdom and freed from fear.  

The poet Khalil Gibran wrote about what happens to us when we reverse that trend and begin to see the goodness of the world more clearly.  He put it this way:  
"Thus the appearance of things changes according to the emotions.  We see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves." 
May you take the time today and every day to let the perfect love of Jesus banish your debilitating fears and the dread that keeps you immobilized and less than you really are.  Live into the fullness of life, and see the magic and beauty of the world all around you, in you and through you.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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