“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
My wife has a favorite saying: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” I am not sure where she picked it up, but it has become a staple around our house and gets said fairly often. It comes in handy if you have kids! Well, lately I have been saying it differently.
This past year I year I experienced a deep loss with the unexpected death of my older sister, Charity Lisherness. Ched, the nickname I always insisted calling her, was a person who “felt the fear and did it anyway.” From bungee jumping, to snowboarding, to extreme racing, Ched lived life with a white-knuckle grip, steel determination and a laugh of joy that often made me wonder if she ever actually did “feel the fear.” If she did, she never let on!
In the seven months since her passing, I have found myself changing the familiar saying from “feel the fear…” to “feel the pain…”. I don’t say this for sympathy as there are many who have lost much more than I have. I say it simply to illustrate the point that… Life. Is. Painful. At some point, everyone will experience pain and loss. As a pastor, I have the privilege of being with families in the midst of painful loss. I call it a privilege because it is one of the few times in life where all pretense is gone and we actually let our guard down and get real. I call it a privilege because being able to cry with people and share in the pain of their loss and share words of comfort from the Bible is a honor. And I call it a privilege because it reminds me that it is alright to cry, and somehow there is healing in the tears.
“…it is alright to cry, and somehow there is healing in the tears.”
One of this week’s scripture passages for the 5th week of Lent is from Psalm 126.
Psalm 126:3-6 – The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
What a great promise! “Those who go out weeping shall come home with shouts of joy.” Pain of loss only has meaning if life truly has value. No one cries over losing something worthless. If you recall the famous verse John 3:16, you know God gave life the highest possible value when he chose to send his Son to save us and to guarantee everlasting life. That is the promise that gives us hope until the day we see our loved ones on the other side of eternity. Until then, we can choose to know we are alive by truly living life with “shouts of joy” even in the midst of tears. So join me and “feel the pain and do it anyway!”