“On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on the left hand the word fear, and in which hand he held his fate was never very clear.” – Bruce Springsteen, Cautious Man.
Love and hate are enemies, true, but love has another, much more insidious enemy: fear.
We’ve all felt it. We’ve all struggled to find the words our the strength to say them… The strength to say anything at all.
One of the best popular illustrations of this is the movie Frozen. We watched it as a family tonight (my daughter’s first Disney feature), and I was struck with the battle between love and fear.
Elsa is dominated by fear from the first incident in the film, when she accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her ice power.
But it’s clear from their parents’ reactions that they’d been ruled by fear much longer, probably since Elsa’s power first appeared.
In all their family, Anna alone is ruled by love. Granted, her naive approach does get her into some trouble, but ultimately, her selfless act of love:
- defeats Hans’s devious, power-hungry plan
- saves her from the freezing curse Elsa accidentally placed on her
- frees Elsa from her overwhelming fear and shows get how to break the curse of eternal winter
- Reunites their family and heals the rift their parents created when they decided to isolate Elsa.
It’s a perfect illustration of what John wrote to the eally church almost 2,000 years ago:
“There is no fear in love. For perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18
And that’s how I want to live my life, more an Anna than an Elsa.
By temperament, I’m much more off an Elsa, much more a cautious man. But I love, and am loved, and if I’m willing to let it, that love can cast out my fear.
One more song about live and fear, one of my favorite tracks from Sarah McLachlan (if you want to hear “Let it Go,” you can YouTube it yourself 🙂