Afraid

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Afraid: (adj.) feeling fear or anxiety; frightened.

 It was my favorite shirt.

I was nineteen years old and it was during the era of the counter-culture—hippies, rock and roll … well, you know the groove.

It was gray and had embroidered white velvet flowers on it.

I loved it.

It was almost too small for me, so depending on whether I was in one of my puffy weeks or thinning days, I could sit down wearing it with spreading buttons or with more comfort.

I didn’t care. I worshipped it.

I wore it at least five times a week. My criterion for deciding whether to don it in the morning was sniffing under the armpits to ascertain the intensity of its lethal nature.

One day I noticed that some of the threads on the bottom of the shirt had come loose. I didn’t think much about it. I just pulled on them and tore them off. After about two weeks of doing this, I realized that my shirt was no longer shedding threads, but had actually torn and was practically ruined.

At that juncture, somebody pointed out that if I had sewn up the bottom of the shirt instead of pulling on the threads, the problem would have been solved and I would still have my garment. (I continued to wear it in its dilapidated condition until one day I was walking down the street and a guy handed me two dollars, thinking I was homeless…)

The reason I share this story is that being afraid is a lot like being a-frayed.

Our threads come loose and we yank on them, pull at them, deny our feelings and pretend everything is all right until we have no opportunities left and we stand, clothed in unrighteousness.

Yes, afraid is when we refuse to sow up our fears and tie up our worries and instead, allow them to destroy everything we like. And even when we use noble words like “responsibility,” “concern,” “involvement,” “anxious,” or in some cases, even “wondering”—we’re just masking the monster.

I lost the shirt off my back because it was “a-frayed.”

If I become too afraid—well … I can lose my own soul.

 

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