“I hate fear in all its forms. It keeps us from living the way we are created.” - Mark Shropshire
My good friend Mark Shropshire said that to me in a conversation. He doesn’t know it, but it left a mark in me. So much so that I included it in one of my books and so much so that I keep thinking about it as these current days roll on.
Check it out again, “I hate fear in all its forms...” There are many many forms of fear. Some of them are very apparent and others are more subtle and deceptive, deceptive because they can go unnoticed. It is the deceptive fears that can be the most damaging, destructive and painful of all fears because they can go unnoticed or create a “slight of hand” and they bury negative, toxic waste, thoughts, and energy deep into our subconscious. As time rolls on, with no attention being given to these deceptive fears, they build up and erupt creating much pain throughout the fabric of our societies. They divide us, thus they destroy us. Prejudice, of any kind, is one of these dark, destructive forms of fear.
And here’s the second part of Mark’s statement, “...It keeps us from living the way we were created.” Another reason why prejudice is so damaging is that it keeps us from living the lives we were meant to have. We are interconnected, meant to be One whole body, much as a school of fish, though made of individuals, moves as one collective mind and one fluid motion. That is our design. Though we are individuals with our own stories, our stories are interwoven into a greater, larger poetic and fluid story. At least that is the overall design. The point is, though we appear to be separate and different, we are the same. We are pixels of the whole picture, we are words of the whole story.
Prejudice is fear, and it is perhaps the deadliest of all fears. It is the lie that says, “You are not like me.” It is the lie that draws lines of separation in the sand creating “those people,” “our people,” “us,” “them,” “mine,” “yours.” It is the evil that divides and polarizes religions, race, genders, and parties. It bass-ackwardly glorifies and magnifies differences, positioning them as threats to “our way,” “our rights,” “our stuff.” And then it uses deception to justify defending, protecting, and maintaining these lies that were built on the false foundation of fear.
Prejudice is the fear of not being right, not being special, not being better than, not being valued. It’s the lie that says “We are superior. Our way is THE way.” The sad truth about this lie is that it is the double edged scalpel that destroys both sides of the line that it draws in the sand. Lies and negative energy only create more lies and negativity. They are cancerous and destructive to ALL of our well being. They keep us from fulfilling our created and intended design, to dance as One.
This is the one thread of fear that can be traced throughout the entire fabric of time. History bears witness to it’s destructive pattern throughout Human existence. It’s the root cause of all wars ever. It’s pure darkness that actually does hide in the shadows of our thoughts and our hearts.
There is only one cure for Prejudice and all the other subtle lies it creates, all the other subtle forms of fear it generates: Love.
PERFECT LOVE casts out ALL FEAR.
This is not a fanciful pipe dream of a cure. It’s real, and it’s our only true hope. And this is what it looks like. Please read this:
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians Chapter 13
Love is the cure for all our prejudices and all our fears. Love is also the the answer to every question ever that has ever been asked and the solution to every problem that has ever been faced. Love is the song we were created to dance to and it is also the dance we were created to be in - together.
We cannot erase our history or change our past. But we can erase our prejudice but we can move forward in Love and create our “Now.”
“Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” - The Lover