Mist and Shadows

By January 24, 2009Uncategorized

“The Lord is my light and my salvationwhom shall I fear?”

Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

I began my first and second ‘rough copies’ for this blog basically saying that I’m scared out of my wits about going to Asia.  Now that I’ve moved into the third attempt at expressing this satisfactorily, that’s still true, but I thought I’d be creative and find a Bible verse about fear: that verse above happened to be the second one in my concordance.  Interestingly enough, the only way I’ve been able to describe the reason for my fear of these coming two months is to say that, from my limited perspective, I feel like I am deliberately walking—or rather, flying—myself into a dark void chalk full of black shadows.

Even though I’ve gone to all the classes in the intensive courses, meant to prepare us all for meeting this major paradigm shift, and I’ve talked to so many experienced travellers I can hardly keep track of all their advice, I cannot make Southeast Asia a reality.  I know, that sounds ridiculous, right?  After all, the existence of whole continents and billions of people is hardly up for debate.  But, in all sincerity, I cannot in the least fathom what two months in Southeast Asia might be like.  I’m stuck in ‘smalltown New Brunswick’ mode and can’t escape the difficulties of imagining such possibilities as any one single city containing a quarter of a million people without exploding! (Fredericton is big enough for me!)  And so, as I try to convert all that I’m learning of Asian cultures into actual, physical reality, to picture it as really and truly existing and being lived, I find the people and the places mischieviously morphing into Canadians and Canada and the strong conviction that these things could never be done (especially since I’ve certainly never seen it) has suddenly popped into the middle of things just to stir up trouble!

And there!  I’ve revealed my egocentric world-revolves-around-North-America worldview!  I can’t help it.  Thus Asia or Southeast Asia or Thailand, Malaysia or the Philippines remain vague proper nouns, associated with black holes and shadowy shadows.  And I’m terrified.  Fortunately though, just now I was reminded that the Lord is my light.  Whom/What shall I fear?  Well, to be honest, probably just about everything!  But somehow, I’m at peace with being afraid and I’m going to Southeast Asia no matter how badly my ‘cultural blinders’ distort reality and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll shed them as I go.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Gregg Finley says:

    In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to. [John 6:15-17 The Message]

  • Karen Farnham says:

    I certainly appreciate your expression of your fears-they are like dark shadows or black holes-but remember God is LOVE and love knows no fear.
    I have to constantly remind myself of that-knowing some of the awful things that COULD happen and have happened to world travellers. But this is different-this time my precious daughter is among those travelling to far away places.
    I am so thankful for the place God has led you right now-SSU and the leadership provided there. I know you are in good hands, not only with your leaders/chaperones and friends, but with God. I trust Him to lead you into a whole new view of His world; and the new people you meet, well, He knew them before they were born, just like me and you. And He loves them just like He does North Americans! They may look different, live differently, think differently than you and me, but they are part of God’s creation, and I would love to meet them. You are so blessed to be in this place and having that privelege. God bless you dear daughter and my prayers go with you and all the group.
    Love, Mom