Tag Archives: fear


8 Jul

I have never seen my title word used, nor defined.  I don’t think it exists.  And it is curious that it does not . . .

This will not be a gay-bashing post.  My God does not teach bashing anyone made in His image.  There are times His image is distorted in people, but that is another issue and requires compassion, not the attack mode.

Let’s break down the word:  “hetero” means “other” and “phobia” means “fear.”

If homophobia means fear of people who are homosexuals, heterophobia would mean fear of people who are heterosexuals.

I submit that either one actually indicates revulsion, not fear.

I don’t know of anyone who is afraid of homosexuals or heterosexuals; I do know people who are revolted by the way homosexuals have sex.  By projection, I can understand that some homosexual people may be revolted by the way heterosexuals have sex (particularly the ones of opposite gender whom they don’t find attractive at all).  

It happens, and the point of my post is not to try to figure out why but just to acknowledge that a lot of things happen in a fallen world for which explanations do not come easily.   

I don’t believe all homosexuals would have heterophobia, but I have known a few who probably did.  

A college professor of mine fit the stereotype of the “flamer” perfectly.  He had studied to be a Catholic priest, then left the profession for some reason.  He was still unmarried.  He would fawn all over the men in our class, particularly the tall, blue-eyed blonde who sat across the aisle from me.  He would come over to my friend’s desk, hanging on his every word and batting his eyelashes at him.

Yet, when his female students spoke up, he would go into attack mode and tear apart everything we said.  There was a definite aspect of humiliation to the way he treated us.  As outgoing as I am, I soon learned to shut up in that class.  It just wasn’t worth it . . .

My papers were another reminder of his revulsion or contempt.  They would come back with more red ink on them than black ink.  And he wrote smaller than anyone I have ever known!

I was shocked when my first semester with him ended and I got an “A.”  I soon learned that I just had to play the game with him.  I would put up with his abuse for a semester and go home with an “A.”  Since everything split perfectly along gender lines, I learned to not take the situation personally.  It was one of my first examples of not being universally liked.  It was probably good for me to learn that.    

It was years later that I realized there probably was an element of fear behind his revulsion because he seemed to apply it to every female, without exception.  But I would still say that he is the perfect example of what I would call heterophobia, and that the defining aspect of heterophobia appears to be revulsion, not fear.

Another professor during that period used to remind us that, while there is nothing new under the sun, our job as scholars (which is the word he used for us) was to “analyze and synthesize” everything in order to come up with a new way of combining old things.  He was a crusty old guy who was dying of cancer at the time, but I learned more from my one semester with him than I did from two years with the other professor.  

Thus my use of the word “heterophobia” and my observation that I have never heard it before.  I am sure someone, somewhere has used it.  As my beloved professor used to say, there is no completely original idea anywhere.  It has all been thought before.  But it is the way we combine a series of thoughts into new patterns that is original to us.  

I will just bet there is not another writer on the face of this earth who could have written this piece on heterophobia exactly the way I just did!!!


I Am Cured!!!!!

21 Dec


Today was my five year follow-up mammogram and surgeon appointment, four days before Christmas!

To say I was a little scared would be quite an understatement. Now on Christmas vacation, I spent the morning before the appointment sleeping in late and goofing off, trying not to think.

At the appointed time, I walked into the women’s facility, next to Sentara Leigh Hospital. I knew the stakes. If my mammogram was clear, I would be pronounced cured of the breast cancer that was diagnosed in early 2008. If not, it would feel like getting so close to freedom only to see it slip away . . .

I reminded myself that God is always good and loving, no matter what.

I carefully watched the tech’s face as she looked at my computer images. No signs of concern. I have learned to read those faces over the last five years . . .

She had me wait while the professional radiologist read out the images. Then stepped out to say that they concurred that I was clear of any suspicious areas!!!

Next I met the surgeon, across the hall. Sweet, Christian Dr. Boustany entered the room and nearly hit the deck with his jaw as it dropped. “Have you lost some weight, my friend?”

I told him, “As of last week, 100 pounds since this time last year.”

Then we laughed and laughed, as he congratulated me on being skinny and cured!!!!!!

The best Christmas gift ever!

Defeating Fear, Part II

3 Nov

Matthew 4:38, “And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

I saw a blog post about this scene this week, about the disciples rebuking Jesus for being asleep in the midst of a storm when their ship appeared to be sinking.  

It was the same week we faced Hurricane Sandy here on the East Coast.  And we who are here in coastal Virginia were very, very fortunate in that we only had high winds and flooding for a little more than 48 hours.  Not everyone got off so easily, as we can still see in New York and New Jersey.

What jumped out at me this time in reading of how panicked the disciples were to think that they (and Jesus) would die in the storm was a realization of how much more I have grown to appreciate God’s sovereign hand in our human affairs.  

First of all, it is almost unthinkable that the disciples would believe that Jesus came supernaturally to be our Messiah and would then perish in a storm.  If they were thinking He was going to challenge Rome, that would not be a successful way of doing it.  If they realized He was going to fulfill prophecies about being a blood sacrifice, well . . . you usually don’t bleed when you drown . . .

In short, their trust in God’s sovereignty during their panic was nil.  And ours can be, too.

Thankfully, I have a touchstone in my life called a close call with breast cancer almost five years ago.  Since then, I tend to stay pretty calm about the possibility of death.  And that is all God’s grace in my life.  All of Him, none of me.  

This time, I did get pretty tired of the wind roaring for more than two days straight.  We have lots of trees on our property and over the fence in our neighbor’s yard and they can be pretty intimidating in a storm.

We were home for two days, too.  Didn’t go out at all.

By the second evening, I told my husband Noel that we needed to tune into something escapist just to get away from the roar.  I didn’t want to hear it anymore.  I didn’t want to watch it out my window anymore.  I was weary of it.  Fortunately, there was a Spencer Tracy marathon on Turner Classic Movies.  Pure escapism.

But what was really wonderful both nights as we went to sleep, knowing that the saturated ground could let go of any trees on it in an instant, especially the pines with their shallow roots, was knowing that I was in the center of God’s will no matter what happened.  

It is one thing to claim Psalm 91 and to be sure in an extreme situation that you will survive.  

It is quite another to cling to the goodness of God and to believe that His sovereignty could even extend to remaining a good God if a tree fell on your house and killed your family.

That is where I was.  I curled up next to my husband’s warmth in the cold night and rested in complete peace, knowing that no matter how we awakened, God is still a good God.

That is a hard earned lesson of freedom.  

And so it is that now, when I hear the lesson of the disciples in the ship, I want to say to them, “Go curl up next to your Lord and Saviour and sleep sweet sleep.  He is the Lord of the winds and the waves, whether you awaken Him to prove it or not.  Go trust Him to care for your soul, regardless of what happens.  Life is sweet when you know that, no matter what happens, He is good.”




Defeating Fear

3 Nov

Reblogged from our church blog. One of my series of posts on my breast cancer experience almost five years ago.

Tabernacle for Today

Revelation 1:17b, 18:  And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not, I am the first and the last:  I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

In most discussions of fear, someone quotes I John 4:18 about perfect love casting out fear, reminding us that fear is not the ultimate state we wish to attain.  True enough, but most of us find ourselves in truly fearful situations, at least once in a lifetime.  I was there just under four years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And I could have tried and tried all day to perfect my love and cast out my fear but I would not have prevailed.  I needed to have the Lord draw near to me and personally tell me “fear not.” …

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