When I went to my thirty-fifth high-school reunion, I ran into one of my old cronies. After observing me dancing by myself, he remarked that I was “still afraid of women.” Thirty minutes later, I had a lady drag me out on the floor, saying she wanted me to dance with her friends. The eight of them made a circle around me, laughing and shrieking until I reached my hand out and spun around to link their hearts in a circle, rhetorically asking “What’s the energy for, ladies? What’s the energy for?”
So, no, it’s not fear.
But I didn’t know quite how to put it until I recalled a scene in the recent live-action Alice in Wonderland. The caterpillar rejects her identity, and in response to protestations from his friends merely observes to Alice, “You’ve lost your muchness.”
This reflects on a recent conversation with a woman who testified that she spent her youth protecting the weak from bullies, until a man that she recognized as an old teacher (from lives stretching back 4000 years) observed to her that she “didn’t have to be Joan of Arc all the time.” I walked away from the conversation reflecting that she had surrendered her greatness to him so readily.
So, please, don’t do that. Jesus was an exemplar, not a substitute. Make much of yourself, my dears.