Shrouded Bushes, Evil Eyed Cows, and Clowns

Our Shrouded Rubber Plant

Our Shrouded Rubber Plant

The weather forecast yesterday indicated we might have a frost here in central Florida last night, so at the suggestion of Linda, our neighbor, we covered our large rubber plant. As I was walking the dogs this morning in crisp–by that I mean downright cold, sweats and socks–weather [37degrees], I noticed that many of our neighbors had also covered their vulnerable foliage. I really didn’t give it another thought until both dogs halted in their tracks. I nearly tripped over Max.

Down the street, as I followed the line of sight of my statute like and now growling dogs, were three shrouded plants in a neighbor’s back yard. Neither Emma or Max appreciated the invasion of these obviously alien and evil beasts. The growling became more vocal, Emma’s high pitched yip and Max’s lower pitched bark at 7:30 on a Saturday probably did not thrill anyone sleeping in. I really tried to shush them, turn them around and head home, but they were having none of it.

It is amazing what a little shot of adrenaline does to two dogs who combined weigh less than 40 lbs., but once again I found myself clinging to their leashes while being dragged in their wake so that they could protect the world from the alien invasion in the Schultz’s backyard. Arriving at our destination they again assumed their statute like stance with growling. After careful inspection of the CREATURES, which was step forward, sniff, jump back, they happily changed courses and off we went back home.

On the way back I remembered that Abigail, my granddaughter in Kentucky was convinced that the cow in her Dad’s herd who she named “Mrs. T.” watched her and gave her the evil eye. Besides Mrs. T., she also has an aversion to clowns, team mascots, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. When she was much younger she told her parents that she wanted Santa Claus to leave the presents on the porch…she didn’t want that OLD MAN inside the house.

Fear can be a mechanism that protects us or turns us into stone. Fear can keep us from running into danger or send us running from anything new and different. Interestingly enough, God contrasts Love with Fear, not Love with Hatred…so much so that in I John 4:18 it is written: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Our fears motivate our worries, which are manifestations of fear, torment us and can keep us from LOVE. On this day, Valentine’s day, the focus is on romantic love, but love is so much more. It is time for me to take an inventory of my fears, the ones that keep me from living a life of love. They may not involve shrouded bushes, Evil eyed cows, or clowns, but I entertain a few. Time to stop throwing a party for the things that turn me to stone or turn me away from living.

It certainly is about time, here at the cusp of my seventh decade. If not now, when? Think I may go out and shake the hand of a Clown, or maybe just visit with that person who kind of intimidates me.

How about you? Got any shrouded bushes, evil eyed cows, clowns in your fear closet?

Afraid of Clowns???

Afraid of Clowns???

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