Thursday evening. It was late and I was tired when I reposted an item on Facebook that appears to be unrelated to my life’s choice of Christian living. I answered a question too shortly, but hopefully this will help explain what was in my mind.
The gist was the author’s looking at elderly women returning to their homes near Chernobyl. She referred to them as “crones” and explained the word’s source:
a classic character from myth and folklore, and she often the bearer of great wisdom and supernatural power. She is sometimes a guardian to the underworld. She has tremendous vision, even if she is blind. She has no fear of death, which means: NO FEAR.Unfortunately for the author’s focus, what she wrote brought to mind much more than myth. I had just finished reading the book of Acts and what came to my mind was a man who was blinded by the greatest of wisdom and power that overcome death itself. A man whose eyes and soul were opened. He not only ceased to fear death, he ceased to cause it. Yet, later, he headed to Jerusalem knowing he faced it.
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 21:10-13 KJV)
I’m certain the “Crone” author was not thinking of Paul. There’s no indication in her story of a biblical background that would give an ad campaign’s “NO FEAR” greater meaning when heard as “Fear not,” but that’s what I heard:
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 KJV)
As I age, becoming “a withered old woman,” (another of the definitions of a crone) the home waiting for me is much greater than a physical comfort of a well-known physical place.
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:7-8 KJV)
I must be aware of the first definition of crone, “a cruel or ugly old woman,” which people will look for first. I must acknowledge that in both definitions the operative word is “old” and I must fear not the consequences of growing old. Instead of seeking to return to previously known comforts, there is much, much more to come.
Paul did not die at Jerusalem, though many sought to make that prophecy true. He was, however, bound, imprisoned, tried and sent to Rome where he took the gospel message even into the emperor’s household. The was much more to come before he was present with the Lord.
The same holds true, today, as we look beyond growing old without fear.