Perfect Love Casts Out Fear!
OLD CARD CATALOG BY STEVE CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR
I sat in the dimly lit office where I had been summoned. I waited in the gallows of Miss Davidson's torture chamber as she busied herself with the several stacks of old books on a long table. My guilty conscience kept tightening the noose around my neck with every preaching tick of the giant grandfather clock over in the dark corner. I reminded myself to breathe, but when I sucked in the stale air of the tiny room I felt sick. Why did God want me here at seminary in the first place?
“Excuse my back, Miss Wilcox, but I had to get those books in order before my secretary comes in here to get them,” Miss Davidson said as she rubbed her hands to get rid of the dust. She gave me eye contact for the first time since I had entered her lair.
“That’s okay,” I said
“Thank you for coming so promptly, I’m sure you are wondering why I asked to see you.”
I didn't answer. I knew when I felt the least bit intimidated by a superior I could make a simple "yes" sound rude. (Ask my father.) I hoped she would hurry up and fire me. This woman was a light weight, not much taller than five-foot two. She was barely over a hundred pounds, wet. Even the perfect cut of her short, salt and pepper curly hair gave her a certain pizzazz for a woman her years.
“I like to get to know my new library workers,” she said. “Tell me all about yourself. Your work can wait. Where are you from? Where did you go for your undergraduate? What was your major? Why are you here at seminary?”
In other words she wants to find if I'm here to find a man! Or, she's jealous that a man is interested in me! How do I get into these situations when people think the worst of me? I tell some of the bad things so she'll know I'm human and I don't lie.
“Well, I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. At eight years old, I stole five coke bottles from a laundry mat. My dad found out and made me write 700 sentences: 'I will never steal coke bottles from the laundry mat again for candy money!'"
That confession made the woman's eye brows raise as high as a clown's, so I settled back in the chair to dig deeper.
"After a long life of sin, I became a Christian at eleven years old at the Deer Park Baptist Church! In Camp Fire Girls I sold so many cookies I got my picture in the newspaper with the mayor. My parents rededicated their lives to Christ. I prayed for a new house so I could have a yard to play in instead of an alley plus I didn't want to live in an apartment with a million roaches. Only by a miracle we got one in Hamilton, Ohio where they live now.
Our pet mouse bit my finger and brought the blood so I ran out of the apartment to find my mother. I slammed the apartment door so hard it broke the glass window into a million pieces; I blamed my little brother for doing it. but my mother knew better."
I thought I was talking too much, so I stopped. Miss Davidson waved for me to continue.
"My father who almost died five times, worked as a janitor at Ford Motor Company and worked his way up to being an inspector. His pay was so low I qualified for a grant and semester loans at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky where I worked in the library mending old books. I was active in the Baptist Student Union where I gave my life to the Lord for special service.
Mom and Dad had more children, two girls, and their sweetness caused me to love children and I babysit for the whole neighborhood and made enough money to buy contact lenses. How I ever made it into National Honor Society in high school and Who's Who in college is still a mystery, because my grades were only average. I got my B.S. degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Art. I was supposed to teach the fifth grade again in Somerset, Ky. but while I was making the bed, God told me it was time for me to go to seminary!"
“My, my, what an interesting story!I hope you write a book some day! Now, back to why I called you to my office. Please, don’t think you are in trouble because you are not! Believe me, Miss Wilcox, I am not too old to know when I see love blooming! I was in love once! Having to organize misplaced Dewey Decimal cards can drive a person crazy! But, having a nice looking distraction can't be a bad thing! After all, God made women cable to do several things at the same time,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
I was beginning to like Miss Davidson's line of reasoning.
The levy broke and Miss Davidson flooded the room with her life story! Her beautiful love story made me smile first then weep. Being from an affluent family, Miss Davidson had a spectacular life and many names in her datebook. One Sunday, a young, handsome man at her church caught her eye. After few months of courting the couple became engaged with the permission of her parents. But, when she discovered the young man had dedicated his life to the foreign missions, she got cold feet, returned his engagement ring and said goodbye.
“I called you in here today to encourage you, Kathy, to never throw true love away like I did. My true love went off to the mission field without me. I became an librarian spinster not just because I loved books, but because I was so afraid I would be unhappy on the foreign mission field. Instead, I ended up being unhappy here in the states.
“I am so sorry, Miss Davidson that your true love didn't wait for you to change your mind before he left on the mission field. Isn't true love patient and kind and willing to wait?
"Well, he didn't wait. He said he had a calling on his life andhad to be about His Father's business! It hurt me badly to let him go, but I was spoiled rotten from a life of luxury. I couldn't live in a hut on a dirt floor! knew my crying would distract him and ruin his work for God. I loved him so much I had to let him go. I figured somebody else would come along but nobody held a candle to him!” She grabbed two more tissues and gave me one.
“Well, it was truly his loss, I’m sure.” I said.
“It was both our loss. He did marry a girl he met here in the states before he left, but I heard he was not happy with their marriage. When she died prematurely, he wrote me that he still loved me and would I marry him. I didn’t answer him because I was afraid I would say, yes." Tears streamed down Miss Davidson's face.
"There is no fear in love; Perfect love casts out fear because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18.
I let my fear ruin his life without me and my life without him. If I had it to do over, I would go with him! But, now all I can hope for is that his great success was because I wasn't there to hold him back. And, to encourage young women like you to not let fear hold you back if it is true love ."
I didn’t know what to say to this woman who was in her seventies and was still suffering from a broken heart. “Is he still alive?” I asked, hoping I wasn’t putting salt in the wound.
“No, he died a few years ago after four decades on the mission field. He was buried over seas beside his last wife. He had four children who moved to the states, long before he died.”
“Have you gone to see his children?”
“Oh,I wouldn’t impose on them. As far as I know, they never knew about me and it’s just as well. Now, enough talk about me! Your young man is waiting out there in the main library! If he is the one God has for you, don’t let fear ruin your love! If you feel inadequate about his particular ministry, be sure to tell him and talk about it. God can balance and use two totally different people for the same work. I never gave God a chance to perfect my love and cast out my fear.
What is his your friend's name, where is he from, and what ministry is he getting?”
“His name is Sandy Storrie and he’s from Tucumcari, New Mexico. He’s preparing for the deaf ministry. We’re just good friends getting to know each other for now.” I lied because I was feeling more than friendship.
By the time I got back, Sandy was gone, and it was time for me to go back to the dorm. I had a lot of thinking and praying to do. I felt sorry for Miss Davidson with no husband and no children; only cold books and a few friends to keep her company.
I knew God wanted me at the seminary for some reason but I didn’t know what it was, yet. I had a peaceful feeling that my purpose would fall into place in due time. If Sandy is the one for me I will be patient, not push anything, and wait to see what happens.
God's perfect love will cast out fear while true love waits.