False choices

Rich Dixon is helping us think about choices.

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A friend told me the pandemic taught him to choose faith over fear.

I don’t do vaccines and masks because I’m not afraid. I have faith.

I want the relationship to continue, so the conversation ended there.

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Our bike tour supports children rescued from sexual slavery. The missionaries who serve our 22 kids also do outreach work with their mothers and other enslaved women. They go into the brothels to offer medical care, counseling, and support.

These missionaries are exclusively women indigenous to the country. Foreigners aren’t welcome, and men come to that horrible district only as customers or traffickers. It’s tiring, filthy, dangerous work done by women of remarkable faith in Jesus.

To be unafraid in those circumstances, they would have to be either naïve or oblivious.

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These incredible women don’t have the luxury of my friend’s simplistic false choice. In their reality, faith and fear dance together. They’ve accepted Jesus’ invitation: ”Take courage. I am. Don’t be afraid.”

For these women – and for you and me – faith isn’t John Wayne bravado, some human-created image of fake strength. They know faith means choosing to face the fear and walk with Jesus even when the path is difficult or dangerous.

The women who serve the Home of Hope have their own families. They’ve experienced corruption, ostracism, illness, and death. They acknowledge their fear and refuse to allow it to control them.

Rather than the false choice of faith instead of fear, I think it’s more like faith in the face of fear. It’s faith that that invites us into conversation.

Jesus, we want to serve You. We’re scared.

Forgive our weakness and selfishness.

Help us know we can take courage and face our fear with You.

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Note: Our kids are in a politically sensitive country. To protect them and those who serve them, we’re intentionally vague about their location.

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