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Faith Forum: Courage in the face of fear

At times we may be persuaded to see things that are not really there. Fear is a formidable foe that needs to be confronted with truth in order to overcome. This short story caused me to do just that:

My grandmother was a darling Scott, fierce and frugal. She raised me, and in our home we had a drawer for paper grocery bags. She saved every one, although I’m still not sure why.

When I turned 18, I moved into my own apartment. Tradition follows us more than we think, so my first duty was to find a place to store my saved paper bags. The apartment didn’t have kitchen drawers, so I chose a lower cabinet that I filled to the full. Getting ready to move after the first year, I was going to pack them all up to take them on my new journey. I still can’t imagine how I thought that was a good idea.

I crawled into the deep cabinet and pulled the bags out. Hiding in the back of the cabinet was a full sack. I immediately thought it was filled with money that the previous renters must have left. As I put my face directly into the sack to peer into the surprise treasure, something jumped out and covered my face with sticky tentacles!

You can just picture how frightened I was, screaming at the top of my lungs. I threw the thing across the kitchen and hid in the living room. Well, there I sat for nearly an hour with my heart beating and shortness of breath, trying to figure how to face the monster. There was no 911 in those days, otherwise, I would have called in a flash.

After I composed myself, I tiptoed back into the kitchen. There it was…a potato that had been growing its long tentacles in the dark cupboard. Under the pressure of the closed bag, it popped out like a jack-in-the-box to cling to my face. This was the most powerful potato in the world. It stole an hour of my life that I could not regain.

The life lesson: when we are caught by surprise or fear, we must make sure that we do not allow our emotions to dictate the situation or create our own narrative.

As a Christian we can stand in truth, with courage to face even the most difficult situations. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Cathy Guerrero is co-pastor at Regency Christian Center Whittier.

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