To Fear or to Love – That is the Question

by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason

I will never forget how I felt walking into that funeral with a little one year old girl and a Tupperware container full of fresh cut watermelon. I found myself deeply thankful for the blessings in my life – perhaps more profoundly than ever before.

 

We know a family with a baby fighting cancer.  We know a family that has suffered multiple miscarriages.  We know a family struggling with infertility.  Meanwhile, my husband and I are blessed with two beautiful, healthy girls, and a baby on the way.

On this side of Heaven, life doesn’t always seem fair.

In our fallen world, we can’t understand why God would allow such suffering.  In our moments of doubt, we question whether a God who loves us would treat us this way.

And yet Jesus never promised that life would be easy – or fair.  Jesus suffered much on this earth, but He also spent many days rejoicing, praising God, creating friendships, spending time with loved ones, and working miracles here!

What do we choose to focus on?  The presence of suffering in the world or the act of rejoicing and praising God for His many blessings?  Fear of the unknown or hope in miracles?  Fear of death or thanksgiving for the promises of eternal life and communion with God in Heaven?

It’s not easy to choose to rejoice.  It’s not easy to choose to hope.  It’s not easy to be perpetually thankful.

Yet, we are presented with choices throughout our lives, one after the other.  And they all boil down to this one simple question:  Will I act out of fear, or will I act out of love?

“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgement because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4:16-18).

A few years ago, I was involved in the Elizabeth Ministry at our parish.  This is a beautiful ministry that reaches out to women who need healing after suffering miscarriage, death of a child, etc.

I remember there was a beautiful couple who had given birth to a precious little girl named Gianna.  Gianna had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, and lived only minutes after birth.  She spent these precious minutes being held by her parents and baptized by a priest.  She was and is deeply loved beyond measure.  A funeral was going to be held at the family’s Church, and I was invited to attend through the Elizabeth Ministry.

I wanted to go.  I wanted to be there to show love for this family.  I wanted to be there to celebrate the life of this precious child who in our eyes had left this world entirely too soon.

My daughter was only about a year old at the time.  We made a trip to the store together to pick up some fresh watermelon to bring to the luncheon following the funeral.  We drove to the Church.

I remember calling my husband from the parking lot that day before we went inside.  “Honey, I just realized that I’m bringing a baby girl to the funeral of a baby girl!  Won’t that be hard on the parents?  Should I really do this?”

His words stuck with me.  “Kaitlyn, which action here would be out of fear, and which one would be out of love?”

We attended the funeral as a gesture of love – a way to comfort and console this family in their time of need.  It was a beautiful service, held on a sunny day, to celebrate a precious little life now in Heaven.

I’m so glad that we were able to attend this funeral and learn more about how this sweet Gianna touched the lives of everyone she knew in her brief life.  She has touched my life in a profound way as well.  I keep her picture in a little journal and think of her parents often.

I will never forget how I felt walking into that funeral with a little one year old girl and a Tupperware container full of fresh cut watermelon.  I found myself deeply thankful for the blessings in my life – perhaps more profoundly than ever before. 

And so the choice is ours each day – will we choose to act out of fear, or will we choose to act out of love? 

Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason

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