Psalm 27:1 (CEB)

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
        Should I fear anyone?
    The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.
        Should I be frightened of anything?


We just finished a sermon series exploring “Love and Fear.” Maybe you are still wondering as the Psalmist did, “Should I be frightened of anything?”

We have a painting of a Native American hanging over the couch in our living room that we purchased at an art show in Arizona. I love the wisdom in Red Elk’s eyes and the picture really speaks to me of the many lessons we can learn from our native brothers and sisters.

Our granddaughter, however, looks at the same portrait, covers her eyes and says “Put that picture away. I don’t like it.” She fears the very same man who feeds my soul. As she grows up, I look forward to telling her about the lessons we can learn from Native Americans.

When we see people who are different from us in some way, we may have the same response as our granddaughter. We don’t always want to know more about “strangers”, don’t care to take time to listen to their stories and don’t desire to form a respectful, caring relationship with them.

A little caution is always good to have when we encounter new people and situations, but with God in our life we are challenged to think the best of others and to care for the stranger in our midst.

By Kathleen Stolz

For Pondering & Prayer

Believing the Lord loves both you and the stranger, and the Lord is protecting both you and the one you fear, can help you find balance between your love and your fear of the “other.” We are all God’s beloved children created in the image of God.

Who is someone you fear and why? Pray for that person with the love that Christ has for all of us.