Tuesday, August 24 2010
I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. A few years ago I was graciously given a few days on Bald Head Island. I knew it only as the quaint island off the North Carolina coast, the one you had to take a ferry to, and drive golf carts on. I didn't realize it was at the very tip of Cape Fear.
My daughter and I were cruising around in our golf cart the first day and we came to a small boat that had the words Cape Fear written on it. It was just parked by the side of a road. We started to turn down the road but another sign caught my eye, Shoals Alley golf carts only. My mind interpreted this as only the golf carts that belong on Shoals Alley can enter! Crazy I know, but that is the point, fear of doing the wrong thing or being in the wrong place made me interpret it that way. So we turned and headed off in another direction.
The next day I was walking and once again came to this spot. Well I am not in a golf cart I reasoned so I can walk down Shoals Alley and I did. I came out on the most magnificent sight for the small "alley" led straight to the Atlantic Ocean. It was a glorious morning and the sun was brilliant over the water, I literally ran down to play in the surf. I found myself on the eastern side of the island and after awhile I decided to walk down and around the corner to the southern beach and explore my way back to our house.
My final morning I was up and out before anybody was out of bed. I was so anxious to get to the beach as the sun came up I skipped my morning cup of tea. Down the road to Shoals Alley and there I paused because this time I read the sign correctly....only golf carts Leslie...no cars, no trucks, no buses, only golf carts! Funny I thought, how could I have read it any other way?
I came out at the same point and once more danced my way down the beach and then I got very bold. I decided I would go out to the very tip of land where the eastern edge met the southern edge and this would truly be Cape Fear. There was a small sand peninsula that jutted out into the ocean at the corner of the island and this is where I was headed.
As I walked out on to the tiny finger of sand I was stopped in my tracks by utter beauty and a sight I will never forget. The sun was rising over the ocean and there at the point where land and water merged sat a row of pelicans. They were facing the east and basking in the warmth of the sun and all that was before them was the vast Atlantic Ocean. One slowly turned his head around and gazed at me, as if to see who it was that was daring to intrude on their worship. Worship you say???? Yes Worship. I felt as if I was standing on holy ground, there was a presence of the Lord that I cannot describe.
I could not go any further, to disrupt them was unthinkable. So I stopped and prayed and yes worshipped God. Slowly I made my way back to the house, then back to the mainland, and back to my life, but for weeks the pelicans haunted my mind. Why was I so fixated on them? What was the Lord telling me through them? Finally I got out a symbol dictionary and there I found my answer. Pelicans are a symbol for Christ shedding His blood on the cross*. The moment I read this the Lord spoke to my heart. "I will be with you in the deepest place of your fear."
I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. My friend Stephanie lies unconscious in a hospital with a broken body from a severe car accident. She is expected to make a recovery but she will awaken to the news that her 39 year old daughter was killed leaving behind a husband and two young daughters. This will break her heart.
"I will be with you in the deepest place of your fear". So be it Lord.....for Stephanie.
*Hall's Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols.