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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

The Face of Fear

When I was a child, I used to have nightmares. They were terrifying and I would wake up screaming. As I look back, I realize there were a lot of circumstances that led to those nightmares. This led me to fear sleeping and stayed with me until I fell asleep from exhaustion.


Fear is real and there are times when it manifests itself in ways that can cause us to be paralyzed and unable to move forward. “The face of fear” can take on many forms. The ones that are the most terrifying tend to be the ones where we find ourselves in danger.

The fear of something happening to us can cause us to lose focus. This can create a sense of dread which leads us to an overwhelming desire to find safety by whatever means necessary.

Though we all suffer from fear from time to time, it seems in the last few years the fear has been on most people’s hearts and minds is the fear of sickness and death. These fears have, of course, been exasperated by the unending drumbeat of the media.


At this point, I am certain political division will start to creep in as some will see what I am saying as abhorrent, while others will agree with my premise with just as much fervor.


My intention is to do neither. I am just trying to point out, “the face of fear” is many times right in front of us and it can become more intense when we are exposed to situations and circumstances that constantly feed into those fears.


A true irony is what people will do as they face their fears. The willingness to submit or succumb to unvalidated or unsubstantiated requirements gives evidence to this truth.

It is as if the desire to survive has become more important than the desire to live.


My question is, how is this possible and when did surviving become our end goal? I suppose one could contend survival is a built-in human desire. I will not argue with this contention.

I do, however, believe in a culture where we have been blessed with all we need to survive; living should be our common goal.


“The face of fear”, is not going away. In fact, if you are paying attention at all, you know it is already turning its eyes towards us as we hear of the next immediate crisis, we should all be afraid of.


I wonder what our world would be like if we were more focused on living instead of surviving. What if we faced our fears with the same vigor we seem to show when confronted with them? If we were focused on living, maybe we would be less agitated when we see people who do not share our fears?


Perhaps, we will consider the possibility fear can be used now as it has throughout history; as a means of exerting power and control over people, and we will learn to resist the agents of fear instead of succumbing to them.


Though I do not have the answers to resolve the way “the face of fear” is leading people to panic, I do know one thing for sure.


“The face of fear” is only as powerful as I allow it to be.


Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”



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