There is nothing to fear, but the sound of splitting seams


I taught at a youth camp this weekend, and in the process admitted something I thought I  never would about my greatest fear.  Since then, I have witnessed two people live out that fear, so I thought it was time to extend my confession here and now.

So this is it:  My greatest fear, is the fear that the seam of my pants will rip in a public place and in front of a lot of people.  The fear is so strong that if I am wearing pants I don’t consider completely trustworthy, I will go so far as to put an extra pair in my car . . . just in case.

Despite what you are thinking, this is not a completely irrational fear.   Rather, it stems from actual life experiences.  Yes, I did say experiences, as in the plural kind. 

Like the time I was nine and at a school barbeque.  My friends and I were taking turns jumping off the swings.  My last heroic leap sent my rear end straight through the backside of my pants.  As though being the fat kid was not enough,  now I was the fat kid who split her pants jumping off the swing.  I remember pleading with my friend, Merinda, that day to let me borrow her sweatshirt so I could tie it around my waist.  She refused.  We weren’t really friends after that.

About eight years ago, my favorite workout shorts doubled as my favorite swim trunks.  At the time it seemed resourceful, but now I know that exercise shorts don’t make good swim trunks.  They simply are not made to withstand the corrosion of chlorine.  I know that now because one day I was working out with a friend at the gym connected to my apartment complex.  One long sweep of the Precor and again my backside tore right through my chlorine soaked bottoms.  That day, Janine Arthur walked behind me all the way home to cover up what I had exposed.  She is perhaps one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

When we are most exposed is when we find the most valuable friends.  Of all the followers and disciples that Jesus had, only one went all the way to the cross with him — John.  Many stood afar off, some came after he had died.  John stood before him until the very end.  That same John spent the rest of his life preaching love.  He is known for one sermon:  “love on another.”  John had loved Jesus when He was most exposed, and in return John learned what true love was.

When we love others through their vulnerability, we understand and experience the love of Christ.  A love that allows us to leave the spare pair at home.

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