Greatest fears that last a lifetime.
- Spelling, grammar and syntax carry my fear of being found out.
- Being called to stand before a group of strangers to write up the findings from a task set to the group – a big no, no, not me, it puts me in a spotlight that I would rather not have shone on me.
Coming from a non-book culture I did not have the sophistication of the English language, a glottal stop was in my mind a gobstopper! And when I was exposed to such things I realised that it really did stop me from announcing my limited and simple English.
I had to move from childhood, with its deep rooted fear of being exposed, to middle life via development of strategy’s that enable me to cope, and then onto to later life when I began to think – does it actually matter?
So I graduated from the fountain pen to the biro. Then I moved onto the typewriter, texting, predictive texting (how do I know its write (right)), and onto conversing though my hand held device (what about my stutter and accent and glottal stops)?
I definitely needed to be older for my coping strategies to work. As I grew older I found myself professionally doing more and more presentations, not to mention speaking in church, it was (and is) torture. But as I got older I could cope better, I was more experienced, wiser, more self-assured – but what if these coping strategies stopped working what then…?
Okay then, you’ve got me!
After all I’m just human and need to be treated as one, just like everyone else, with patience, compassion and love.
I know I’m not done in needing coping strategies. As I pondered this I was thinking about Jesus charging about, laying into the authorities of the day at one moment, and then at the next with love, care and compassion holding the hand of a young girl and raising her from her sick bed. Jesus was after all human, and consequently he too needed coping strategies. His answer was to go to God the Father and lay it all out before him.
Being a bloke I don’t always talk about my inner fears, but as I got older I recognised that in talking to God I have the ultimate coping strategy.
Does it work?
My fountain pen works, yes I still write with a fountain pen. There is something nice about getting a letter that is hand written (I’ve checked), yes with spelling mistakes, grammar and syntax errors all over the place, but it’s personal and it takes time and its also identifying who the writer is. You may have to read it more than once just to make sure that you recognise some of the twirls and scratchings that make it a letter to you.
Dare I say it’s a bit like the bible, it also takes time to read and decipher but it also allows us to understand how to approach Father God, which can make it easier to go and chat with him.
Oh yes, longhand writing exposes me but as I’m an adult now I’m old enough to cope!
Image Credit: Álvaro Serrano