Thursday, April 20, 2006

By Marion Kelley Bullock
The most memorable thing about the first house I lived in was The Monster, a huge oak telephone with big metal eyes, hanging on the wall in Mother and Daddy’s bedroom. Barbara's and my bedroom, too. The only other bedroom was the Guest Room.

One day, our mother, stricken with appendicitis, begged us to call the doctor or a neighbor. At four and five, we should have been able to accept the challenge, though we had never been allowed to use the huge monstrosity. But we were frozen in terror. Our tongues clung to the roofs of our mouths and our eyes must have been wide pools of fear.
Finally, our mother managed to call a neighbor, who took her to the hospital and kept us until our aunt came to care for us. Looking back, I feel guilt, just thinking about our failure. And yet the failure was not all ours. We were not encouraged to take any initiative. Shyness hung about us like a thick grey fog, robbing us of feelings of accomplishment.
When fear grips us as adults, threatening to strip us of our effectiveness, God expects us to shake free and grab hold of His power. After all, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13.