God, as a boy I used to be afraid of darkness;
be scared of lizards;
be fearful of crossing the street
and be absolutely terrified by ghost stories
I used to be fearful of many people and things too.
Luckily, I don’t remember most of them now.
Perhaps, I may have outgrown these childhood fears but I must confess that I am still scared of many of these.

As I grew up, I faced new fears –
grotesque, menacing, and horrendous with much darker shades.
I must admit that I was mostly bullied into silence.
However, I quickly learnt to live with them.
My best line of defence was a plastic smile that masked the deep fears within.

Now, I am older
And yet, I continue to face my fears – imaginary or otherwise.
I get frozen with fear as I stare at the future.
I feel aghast at the axis of evil that intimidates me.
I am perplexed at the way life seems to slip away.
I panic when I see my worst fears come true.
I am alarmed at the fears that I cannot name.
I have lost confidence.
I have lost courage.
I have lost control.

God! I come to you as I face my fears.
You are right here beside me.
I know I need not be afraid.
Help me not be panic-stricken.
You are there for me
Help me to trust in you.
You are on my side.
Help me feel secure.
You walk by my side.
Help me walk with you.
You hold my hand with a firm grip.
Help me hold on to you.

Now I know, You are with me.
I am afraid of no-one or no-thing.
Fill me with your reassuring presence and drive my fears away.
I will be confident.
I will celebrate life.
I will truly live.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Samuel Thambusamy is a PhD candidate with the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life.