Faith In The Face Of Terrorism

“The city was under siege. As when a house is on fire, the inhabitants wanted to flee. The populace seemed eager to save themselves, even if naked and ashamed. Others heard of the calamity and received the exiles. Tales of the horrors which had befallen the city were widespread; stories of tortured souls shook the city. Shaking of foundations was a well-known cause of alarm.

Now every heart quivered. All saw death daily before their eyes. Terror was constant. Many were shut up within the walls of their own houses. The enemy was encamped around. There were those who roamed the streets seeking the guilty as well as the innocent. Formerly free persons sat shackled, anxiously inquiring of those they felt safe to ask, “Who today has been seized, carried off, or punished? How did it happen? How did they fall?’ The people lived a life more dreadful than death.

This calamity is an enigma, isn’t it? In this scene there is flight without an enemy. Inhabitants are expelled without a battle. There is captivity without capture. No fires of barbarians are visible. No faces of the enemy are seen.”

Those are the opening paragraphs of my book entitled “Farewell to Fear.” The story is a parody. The city is “you” and the enemy attacking the city is “fear.” Fear attacks us as an army lays siege to a city. Now read those paragraphs again.

Here is another line from the book, “No emotion so completely robs the mind of all its powers of reason and action as fear.”

Tension and stress caused by the uncertainty of potential terrorist activity has everyone a bit edgy. Y2K was only a primer compared to this. The terrorists have already accomplished part of their goal, that is, the disrupting of daily life and raising the fear factor. How can we respond most properly?

A young pilot returning from flying an unarmed reconnaissance flight over Iraq wrote to tell me of his fear. He had just been reading my book and he wrote, “I remembered the line from your book, “The God who conquered Canna said, “Fear not’ and in that I found consolation.'”

My working title for the book was “Fear Nots Untie Fear Knots.” I still think that was a good title.

This conflict has religious roots. The counter point personal remedy is a spiritual one. Use your spiritual resources and if you don’t have any make establishing them a priority. One of the most useful spiritual weapons is prayer. Prayer is not just telling God what He already knows – it is meditating and giving Him time to tell you what you don’t know. Commit Scripture to memory. Here is a starter: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Philippians 4:6,7 NLT).

If you have your spiritual priorities in order you live in a no lose position. It is time to reassess what really is of value. With our value system properly ordered life takes on new meaning. That helps relieve tension and stress.