Looking Up in the Face of Fear

My great-uncle sat there, in his same ol’ chair. Precious man. And every now and then, he’d reach over and flick open a section of blinds to quickly peek outside. 

My grandmother, his sister, could never understand. Was he afraid? What was the problem? Why not open the blinds fully … see fully? The blinds weren’t broken. The light would be so good for him. Open that window.

“He needs to get out and walk, get out in the sunshine, soak in that Vitamin D,” my grandmother would say.

I don’t know. But I think he was broken. He’d had bad health since he was a young man. Somehow he had managed to continue working up through a decent retirement age. He and his wife never had a family. Something was heart-breakingly broken inside, was the feeling I got … maybe there was an area in his life that God hadn’t been quite allowed to heal. And the sweet man could gather tears instantly in his eyes. 

He was a tender soul.

But one thing I learnedfear is contagious. As the years pressed by, as my grandmother’s health began to decline and my grandfather had passed on to Glory, she became the one to peek out the blinds. Fearful. With the full light still warming and lighting the earth, come the touching threat of sundown, she began shutting up her home, shutting out fearful things. Imagining fearful things and voicing them.

The face of fear can be terrifying … hair raising sharp fangs and sharp claws. Or closed doors, closed shutters, four walls. No visible steps upward.

When life is hard on us … when we fear … when we don’t have the strength to open the shutters or doors … when we aren’t sure we can see God in the midst of it all …

when we are certain the light is just beyond the enclosure … when we can even feel its warmth … but we feel crippled …

It seems dark. We can’t seem to get out from under the sheet that we pulled up over our head and shaking body in fear, and we are suffocating.

What can we do?

Go low … to our knees, to our faces.

And look heavenward.

For The Light.

For just the glimpse.

The Light who is so good for us, who allows us to see fully.

And we can be mindful to pass that search for the Light on to others. 

Although we might be looking through our lives’ dust and dirt and pain, our focus presses through. Our children and their children will understand that though we might not have an ounce of strength, though we might be broken, though we might not can understand our lot in life, we know where to look for internal strength and understanding. 

We know who to make our glorious crutch. Our crutch is not an enclosure … our crutch is beautiful, peaceful … our crutch is alive. 


How do you handle fear? Have you ever been crippled by fear or witnessed a family member crippled by fear? What advice can you give?

10 thoughts on “Looking Up in the Face of Fear

  1. Such good thoughts, Shelli. We have one glorious One who can and will be our crutch, if we'll let Him. I've definitely dealt with fears in my life, but not to the point where I shut the world out. As I grow with the Lord, I'm learning to turn them over to Him sooner and sooner. That doesn't mean I don't still take them back sometimes. 🙂 But, I'm working on that. Thank goodness we're daughters of a God who loves us amazingly and is our shield always.


  2. I know, Jeanne … I've never shut out the world either … I don't think so. And I just got tickled thinking that I hope that trait isn't hereditary. Oh, goodness. I do not want to be peeking out the blinds one day. 🙂


  3. Perhaps their fear was inherited? Go back another generation, do you find great-grandparents who saw the world as a very scary place?

    Many people accrue money to leave for their children and grandchildren, and that isn't a bad thing. But it is better to leave a legacy or gratitude, bravery and optimism.


  4. Oh, Shirley … the legacy we leave. Amen to that.

    And I didn't know my great-grandparents well enough. But … my main memories of them are when they were in bad health, older …. I'm going to be digging through my memories today and see what I can recall of them. Because this great-uncle and his wife lived with his parents until they passed away.


  5. How I handle fear? I ask myself what is the worst thing that could happen. But at the start of the fear, I don't have the guts to consider that. After some time of worrying and stressed and crying (which may be a few days, weeks, or months), when I am ready to get down to the bottom of it all, I realize it my lack of trust–not the Savior lack of help. I acknowledge my fear and those worst things and admit, that even if they did happen on this earth, God still reigns in my life. God is sovereign. I can preserve. He's never left my side. Not ever. So why would I think he would if the worst happened? At some point in the midst of a situation like that, I admit my concerns to others and ask them to pray–not for what I want, but for discernment and to be open to what God wants from me. It is only through constant prayer and the bowing down and lifting up of my arms that I gain peace. Ironically, this happened this past week with an issue I'm dealing with. It was something in which I spent three weeks dreading. I fought it. I cried. I prayed with friends. Friends prayed for me. And still are. And yesterday, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear. My dread is gone. Such freedom. Even if what I don't want occurs, I won't fight it. God is still right beside me.


  6. “But at the start of the fear, I don't have the guts to consider that.” I love your honesty, Melodie. I am so with you on that. I love where Job says something like … though He slay me, I will hope in Him. It feels like a slaying sometimes. But it's so sweet to get to that point of trust. I'm this old … and He's never let me down. 🙂 I'll be praying for you, Melodie … xoxo


  7. For me there are different levels of fear. Some are easier to deal with, we take a deep breath and then step into them. Others are not quite so easy and anxiety takes hold of us as we struggle to find a way out. But then there are those fears that walk a fine line between life and death. They are completely out of our control and we have no choice but to turn to God. Its then that I remember through parables like the lost coin, the loss sheep, and the prodigal son that God is desperate for us. That God's desire for us waits on the other side of that fear. That doesn't change the situation but it give me assurance that the situation will not have the final say.


  8. “The situation will not have the final say” … I love that, Gene. So true. It seems like this week has been full of bad news for us … just one thing after another. Nothing severe … we'll be okay … but one disappointment after another. I feel that anxiety wanting to creep up. And I'm praying earnestly. I haven't been exercising as much lately … I forced myself to get out and walk a brisk 20 minutes this morning. I know that will help. You always bless me, Gene. Thank you for always contributing something I want to remember. God will have the final say.


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