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The Rest of the Story {Day 23}

So I found a little boy to be (un)afraid of on the bus. (You can read about it here.) But God used a sharp corner and a cobblestone street to wake up my afraid. That’s when unafraid showed me The Boy as someone to serve rather than something to fear.

When I first saw The Boy as a person, my heart felt sick at my own selfish fear that had kept me from looking him in the eye. Kept me from smiling at him. Kept me from finding a way to show him Jesus. I prayed that day, right there on the bus. I prayed for the boy. Prayed for me, too. I had prayed about him before. But the praying was different now. Before that day, my prayers for him sifted through the filter of my fears. But now, in the unafraid, I prayed for The Boy . I prayed for his peace. I prayed for his mama, who I do not know. And for his well-being. I prayed that The Boy would know how much he means to Jesus Christ, God Himself. I even told God He could use me if he wanted. But first He had to walk me to the closet and help me put on the unafraid.

I wore it the next day. It got a little bit wrinkled when I stepped onto the bus. I sat down right behind him and waited for a chance to dignify this little boy whom I did not understand. Waited for an opportunity to just look him in the eye. I watched through unafraid glasses and found love replacing the fear.

When the bus took off, I finally got my chance to display the beautiful unafraid God had given me to wear. The Boy looked right at me, put his hand on top of mine and spoke. He spoke words I did not know, and my face lit up. Unafraid, I realized that, although the fear had kept me from doling out the dignity, The Boy’s fear had not done the same to him. In fact, this boy was willing to not just look me in the eye but to grant me the favor of a word spoken through a smile. For me, a foreigner in a land where I understand very little and know even less. That boy on the 303 gave me dignity, although I was so unwilling to grant him the same just 24 hours earlier.

A woman got on the bus soon after. She boarded from the front and made her way back, choosing to stand right next to the boy. I could tell she did not know him. But she did what I was unable to do. She spoke with him and smiled. She conversed with The Boy and smiled at me. We shared a kindred care for The Boy on the 303, so we smiled at each other. And The Boy was not afraid that day, I think.

It seems that unafraid’s beauty shines on those around it, too. It turns fear of unknowing into opportunities to show love. Transforms selfish protective walls into climbing exercises that strengthen others, too.

I wonder what I have held back in all my previous afraid. What chances have I missed to grant dignity to strangers? To show love to needy people? All because I was afraid to wear it.

6 Thoughts on “The Rest of the Story {Day 23}

  1. Sara Reich on October 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm said:

    Awesome!!

  2. This was beautiful the first time I read it, and beautiful still. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say. My impulse is to go up to people, to love people, but then when I actually get there that’s when the fear kicks in and I get all stumbly-stupid and more often than not I mumble under my breath and then run away. I’m glad you were able to make a connection with the little boy that day. Also thanks for coming over and linking up with me today!

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