The next prompt in Writing in the Margins:
Read Revelation 21:4 and reflect on the text. What if in on place God “wipes” away the old and writes in the new in the margins? Write into your margin what would be erased and what might be written in by God’s grace.
The first thing that came to mind was that God would eliminate needless fear and replace it with love. As I read a little further in this chapter I noticed that the cowardly would not be part of the new heaven and the new earth; their place is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Being cowardly was listed first among the vices. What found it’s way into the margins was a note: “Choose love, not fear. There are no cowards in heaven.”
Of course, I imagine my kid’s reading this one day and I want them to have a healthy regard for their own safety. Fear can be a useful emotion. But the cowardly take a healthy emotion and use it for all the wrong reasons. Cowards breed fear to maintain power and to support their own greedy intentions. Cowards fear those who are different in extreme ways. This can take the form of targeting those who are different with violence or simply withholding basic life necessities. Love is the total opposite of this type of behavior. Love reaches out first in trust; love gives what it can. Love does the right thing given the circumstances. I still have these words ringing in my ears from Makoto Fujimoro’s commencement speech…
The world that ought to be is not a utopia. It is instead created out of sacrificial love. To love is to quest for this world to come. To love is to endure…Love is generative and will create a stage for the new to appear.
A day that’s hard to imagine, a day when God will wipe away every tear!
As I was working on this page, I also felt inspired to redo two pages I had done earlier, here and here. If you make a mistake or are just generally unhappy with how a page turned out, you can always wipe the old away and do something new!