Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fear and Faith

Twenty six years ago I made a journey that began with anticipation and was sprinkled with fear. It culminated in a scene that had me clutching my medical records, my police clearance and a marriage certificate that pronounced me wed to my bride who had arranged for this trip. I had arrived in America but was separated from her for about an hour as I was being processed to legally enter this land and begin to make my claim like millions before me. All I wanted was to stand beside her and guide her. I wanted to belong and the fear that gripped me was greater than the faith that I needed. When the door to the processing room opened and I saw her radiant smile as she asked the officer to finish so she could take me to Texas, the fear was replaced with faith. Twenty six years ago fear and faith were never friends in my vocabulary.

A family seeking love and a career warranting more attention than was deserved carved a different path over the next period of life. The highs and lows of achievement and disappointment, and the mix of maturity and foolishness, painted a picture that showed heartache and promise in equal proportions. One step forward on the corporate ladder was counteracted with one broken promise to the ones loved. Faith entered the picture as a substitute to take away the pain and offer a glimpse into something that could not be quantified. Confessions of guilt were usually accompanied by the utterance of clich├ęs of “quality time” and “standard of living.” I am now fearful that I have no faith

True confessions on bent knees every Sunday and then returning to chaotic-normalcy on Monday governed the next phase. Faith in the future had overtaken the gnawing fear of wanting more than I already had and hoping for things that I may not deserve. Love was no longer an action or an emotion but had come full circle to become an ethic. The desire to love was replaced by allowing one to be loved. We know that faith and fear have the same definition, but we should know that we need not have them in equal proportions. Lasting solutions do exist if we search and can be found if we listen.  Don’t fear-have faith!

The eagerness and newness of the America I craved when I was twenty has been replaced with the guarantees and certainties of life as I turn fifty. The publishing of books, the documenting of the many miles traveled and the nostalgia of reliving the fondest memories replace fear completely. I am still afraid but now it is a fear that I am not faithful enough, amidst all the evidence of God’s grandeur and provision. The goal of this life then is to fear my faith. Shalom!

Krish Dhanam
Author of “The American Dream from an Indian Heart”
& from “Abstracts to Absolutes”