My fellow neophyte bidet worshippers, with the continuing crisis of the contagious corona virus, many find themselves paralyzed with fear for their survival and their families. Have you ever considered how picky fear really is? This brings to mind a recent event in the psychic town of Ashton.
A local gentleman was enjoying an adult sudsy beverage at the village’s public house. He had left his coat on and, as he continued to sip the suds, became antsy, squirming on his perch of a stool. The more animated he became the more attention he garnered from fellow bar patrons. With a last shrug and wiggle, a mouse fell out of his coat on to the floor. A couple of beefy beer drinkers pursued the rascally rodent and dispatched it to cheese heaven.
The clientele of the place showed mild surprise and amusement then went back to lashing their livers. A visiting New Yorker would be shocked and dismayed at such an event (this from an urban population that has pet names for their local rats and cockroaches). To the locals, just another day, but it reminded me of my mother. Mom had a quick, hard hand and a tongue sharper than a buzzsaw on steroids; she was, however, completely petrified of mice. For a woman who had a black belt in hairbrush, it didn’t seem rational.
As a youngster I recall her standing on a chair screaming in abject fear of a mouse running around the kitchen. My first uncharitable thought was, “I wish I could make mom do that.” Why would someone who feared “neither God nor man” recoil at the sight of a minuscule rodent? Fear is a picky thing. There were only two things that unnerved me in life, one was dear old mom, the other was and remains heights. Why do my hands and knees start shaking when climbing a ladder to change a light bulb? Why would having had melanoma, having prostate cancer and bouncing around various areas in Iraq for about a year not cause a ripple of concern but the thought of standing on a step ladder paralyze me with dread?
While some may not share the fear many have of the virus, yet we understand that fear is real, if picky. How to deal with this intensified worry of the Christian is personified by David in his 23d psalm.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.” (vs. 4)
A daily recitation of this psalm is calming; it’s not about death, it’s about life. Now, if given the choice between the corona virus and a ladder…I’d really have to think about it.