It’s funny that I’m not great with names — (just in case you didn’t know, pastors are supposed to be good at names). I used to be better at names while I worked as a camp counselor because I would always ask every camper where their name came from or I would give them a nickname and when I gave it or had a story I was better able to remember it. This morning as I taught Sunday school I asked everyone in the class where their name came from. One husband from a couple who had been married for over 30 years shared the origin of his name from a French novel and his wife exclaimed, “I NEVER KNEW THAT!” It was precious.
Michael shared a poem with me today that connects with my love for knowing where people’s names come from. It also connects with the fact that I’ve been very afraid recently. Saturday night I got to a parking garage in downtown Nashville. I went by myself to see TN Rep Theatre’s production of Sweeny Todd. (This is kindof a secret garage connected to McKendree UMC downtown, in which I have special privileges to park — it’s in the middle of downtown but it’s quite desolate.) When I arrived at the garage I was scared to get out of my car. I quickly opened the door and got out of my car. The smell of congested air and piss wafted and I just as quickly jumped back in the drivers seat. Then I thought of last week — walking back to my car from the symphony — parked on a side street downtown — and saw the passenger side door bashed in and my purse gone. I thought how thankful I was that my property was damaged and not my body. Then was nervous to walk downtown — through the cold, misty, darkness and cat calls. Then I thought about the fact that the show is about murder — hilarious as it might be — I had no idea how I would get back to my car later that night.
So I turned the ignition and drove home — Sweeny Todd is playing until Nov. 2nd — so I will have another opportunity to see it with friends. A friend reminded me when I called her on the way home that sometimes it’s okay to be scared. Next week in church we are discussing Jesus’ question, “Why are you Afraid?” Jesus obviously knows how scary this world can be — but Jesus asks this question because even though it’s okay to be afraid Jesus doesn’t want me to live a life debilitated by fear. “And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age,” Jesus reminds me at the end of Matthew (28:20b).
Also this poem is a good reminder for me and I think you will love it: “Fear Of” by Devin Kelly