"Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands..."
Just yesterday, on my relatively-silent-Sunday, I finished the remarkable book, "By Way of Grace" by Paula Huston. In the chapter on the virtue Hope, she describes the life of St. Therese of Lisieux and the Old Testament referring to the "fear of the Lord." I tended to think of fear of the Lord as awe of the Lord, not quivering in a corner, afraid of God's wrath. Well, Ms. Huston describes the fear of the Lord as a fear of separation from God--on our end. We certainly have the choice to choose God, and, if so, we have the choice to turn away from God, too. What if situations in our lives get so dicey that we just cannot imagine God involved anymore? St. Therese was suffering terribly from tuberculosis and along with the physical suffering, she was going through a crisis of faith as well. She writes of her "nothingness" and how she wants to believe, but she "feels no joy" in singing of heaven. After such a life of faithfulness and longing for God, she felt little of that as she lay dying. She even advised her caregivers not to leave anything near her that she could use to kill herself. The "fear of the Lord" was a great and real fear, that when the going got tough, Therese could turn away from God, whom she loved with all her heart. And we can go there, too, Friends. If things seem so dismal that we wonder, where is God? So, today, this breezy June Monday, let's pray that we may have fear of the Lord, not as one who fears retribution or punishment, but that we may be people who continually choose God. God always chooses us, but that we will always have the desire to choose God back! Love, heidi