You promise to me that you will be always near to me. You are powerful, far stronger than all else that i face, and you will use that strength on my behalf. You are my shield, and yet i fear, when all that is around me seems daunting. Knowing that i not greater than all the troubles i see, i fear... and i easily forget that one who is greater is by me, is defending me with a strong arm and a loving heart.

We would like to say that we are stronger than adversity, that we are powerful enough to fight our troubles and to defeat them, that if only we stand up against what is wrong in our lives we can overcome the wrong and be conquerors as those who are right.

Yet we still fail to gain victory over the wrongs that we see around us and in us. We see this, and still we believe that we are greater, that we are not ever wrong, and that we are ever strong. We strain against injustice, against harm... and yet fail to recognise that we hold harm within ourselves. And so we strive against ourselves, and we bring harm to our own. We defeat ourselves where we stand.

And so where we stand, though we may not know why, we fear... for to fear is to lose the hope that encourages us. In our fear we know not what to do, and so we strike out blindly, against what we fear... and we fear ourselves, for we ourselves who harm us. We forget to look to you, who does no harm.

Within me, then, i have learned to fear myself, and those around me, for i have some glimpses of what we hold within us and within me, and then when i do harm then there is all the more reason for harm against me. When i act this way — acting not in love — i am out of your will, and to taste what it is to be without you is to taste what it is to be without hope.

And yet you love me, and always want me in you, and you draw me toward you even when i somehow seek escape. Only you can free me from fear, for you alone are my hope. Hope and a shield you give, and peace in my heart. You are my rest from fear.

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