Do not be afraid

Julie RidgwayDo not be afraid for I have redeemed you I have called you by your name you are mine – this is a line from one of my favourite hymns.

We can all think of something that makes us fearful or afraid – some of those things maybe real whereas others maybe our imagination going into overdrive, either way our experience is not a pleasant one .  I can recall from my youth pleading with my parents to be allowed to see the film jaws only to then suffer recurring nightmares during a family holiday at the seaside!  We may try different ways of rationalising our fears and there are people who profess to be able to reduce or even get rid of some of our fears for us.

Hardly a day seems to go by when we don’t hear news reports of human beings inflicting dreadful harm on others often for reasons we just cannot comprehend.  We are regularly told that certain countries are under serious threat of an attack and we should all be vigilant.  Many public places in this country and other parts of Europe now see armed police regularly on patrol, protecting us from harm.

The dreadful events earlier this week in Brussels have brought home yet again what harm our fellow brothers and sisters can inflict on one another.  In the news reports we saw reporters asking people on the streets for their comments on the events or what they saw if they were nearby at the time.  Understandably some commented how afraid they are now feeling and how as part of their daily routine they would be trying to avoid public transport and places where lots of people might be gathered.

As the hours past, the images broadcast then turned to scenes of calm, pavements nearby the airport and metro centre became adorned by flowers, messages of condolence all lit by many candles.  Crowds of people did gather, holding each other, offering prayers and placing more flowers, candles and messages on the streets.  Whilst many of those messages expressed feelings of sorrow and loss, others expressed their determination to carry on with their normal day to day lives and not to allow fear of more attacks to consume them.

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