When Fear Strikes Close to Home


It was an eerie drive home.

I don’t usually plan my route home specifically to maneuver around the SWAT teams that have converged upon my neighborhood, but I did tonight.

Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino is about eight miles from my home. That’s way too close to be a “news story.” This one was personal  …

A lifelong friend’s daughter and grandson were at the IRC when the shooting started. Thankfully, they are safe.

Since I work in the field of social services, many of my colleagues have friends who work at the center.  As I’m writing this, I don’t know if they all reached safety.

After a police chase, there was a shootout with the suspects along a route I travel frequently.

The house in Redlands that was surrounded by SWAT teams for most of the afternoon and evening is within walking distance of my home.

This wasn’t something “out there” somewhere, this was close–too close–to home.

Yet, I’m one of the fortunate ones. My loved ones are safe.  My coworkers and friends are safe. I’m safe.

Not everyone in my community can say that tonight, so I dare not take that precious gift for granted. None of us should ever take that gift for granted. Every routine day, every uneventful moment, each and every breath is a gift. I pray we are reminded to cherish the gift of “everyday” life with great gratitude. It really is so very precious … and so very fragile.

I’m so mindful of that fact on this incredibly surreal day. My emotions are all over the place. I’m shocked. I’m numb. I’m heartbroken. I’m outraged.

And yes, I’m afraid. 

I’m afraid because fear struck close to home. 

This is my home. This is my community. This is up close and personal.

But because it is personal, I refuse to allow fear to win.

Fear struck a powerful blow in my community today, but fear has not–and cannot–win the war.

When fear wins, evil wins. And that simply isn’t an option–not now, not ever.

I may be feeling afraid, but I refuse to respond in fear. Instead, I choose hope. I choose to embrace life.  I choose to focus on goodness.

Most of all, I choose Love.

Because Love already chose me. 

Love chooses you too. That is, if you choose to be chosen. Because love is always a choice.

In this restless world, there is trouble. There are challenges. There is heartache. There is loss.

There is fear.

And sometimes, fear strikes close to home.

When it does, how will we respond?

How will you respond?

We can’t always avoid fear–we don’t always have that choice. But we can choose how we respond.

We can choose love.

We can choose to love beyond the fear.

Will you pray with me? For my community? For your community? For our world?

Will you pray that we learn to respond in love, not fear?

If we do, maybe, just maybe …

Love will strike closer to home than fear.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Rom.12:21


7 thoughts on “When Fear Strikes Close to Home

  1. Wow, wow, wow. I actually know what you’re saying. We used to live in a bad neighborhood in the heart of Chicago when our kids were little, where murder and violence were around us all the time. It changes you. But, at least, we expected it. Regardless, it does certainly challenge how much of God’s love has driven out our fear. Not the awareness of danger kind, which is God-given, but the paralysis of being afraid and how that changes us and keeps us from fully loving others..

    I’ve been praying for the people involved in SB area, and will certainly pray for you, too. My heart grieves when I hear these things. People REALLY need an encounter with the Father’s love today! Much healing must begin in our country, and we have the answer, which is why we can’t afford to live in fear. Blessings.

    1. Amen Mel. Definitely pray God draws hearts to Himself and reveals His perfect LOVE to hearts who need Him so desperately. His love IS the only anecdote for fear. I very much appreciate your prayers 🙂

  2. I will pray with you! Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation but IN ME you will have peace” In Christ Jesus, in a new heaven, our mind set on things above, our mind seated in heavenly places with our ascended Lord, our body and soul can rest knowing He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. No weapon formed against us will prosper. We walk by faith, not seeing and believing with our physical eyes as the world does; we see with the enlightened eyes of our heart and use God’s spiritual weapons and wear the whole armor of God and the armor of Light, the Lord Jesus Christ! God bless all his children; may all know the Love of Christ beyond knowledge to be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-21)

  3. Cindy, I just read the news report about the shootings near you. My heart goes out to you and the residents in your area, and especially to those who lost loved ones. Yes, I pray the perfect love of God will drive out fear. Jesus I pray you will give perfect peace to this area and to those who lost loved ones. Thank you for covering Cindy, that she is covered over by the precious blood of Jesus. May your Kingdom come, your will be done.
    Give her boldness and courage and freedom to live and move and have her being. May her heart not be troubled as she ministers for you in Word and deed. In Jesus name, amen.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Glenda. I definitely feel His peace that passes understanding – as do many out this way- and we are grateful for the many faithful friends who have prayed. I know that He alone can take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good! Love and hugs to you ❤

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