“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear,  and do not dread it.  – Isaiah 8:12

So I’m at a conference this summer and I go to a workshop to hear one person I wanted to listen to. Turns out he wasn’t the main speaker. Liz bailed after about 20 minutes into the talk…I wanted to, but there weren’t many people left at that point, and I felt guilty.

Nothing stuck out to me about that talk until the very end. The speaker decided to share a story about a taxi ride he had taken recently. The story had seemingly had nothing to do with what he had been talking about. (Though to be fair, I wasn’t paying close attention by this point.)

He told us that his taxi driver was a Muslim.

He told us that this taxi driver was going to marry multiple wives and have multiple children with each.

Why? Because that is how they plan on taking over.

And the moral of the story?

Your governments should not be letting all these refugees into your countries, or else “they” will take over.

Do you feel that?

Do you feel the fear creeping up the back of your neck? I did.

That little story fits a narrative many of us have been conditioned to believe. The “other” has sinister plans, and wisdom requires us to keep them at arm’s length to ensure our safety and survival.

My biggest problem with that story? Jesus.

Whenever fear about personal safety makes us want to cross the street to avoid the bleeding injured man in front of us, it is a good time to reconsider what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What did he say about the hurting person…about the person in need? (Let’s not even get into Matthew 25.)

I’ve thought about that story many times since. And it makes me angry every time.

I don’t know if the conversation actually happened, or if the speaker made it up.

If it did happen, I don’t know that this isn’t just one random taxi driver who believes he is going to procreate his way to world domination. (Make love not war!)

But I do know that the speaker tried to make us afraid. And if we allow fear to take root, we become willing and able to turn our backs on those who are in need. Not only that, at the same time we are able to feel justified, righteous, and godly while doing it.

Love calls us to faith-filled abundant life. Fear causes us to bunker down and protect what is ours.

But what if? What if the story is true?

I don’t know. But I know I choose love over fear.

(the image with this post is one I saw this summer…and shows the perfect example of choosing love over fear)