…the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
[Psalm 19:9-10a, NRSV. For the complete psalm, click psalm 19 above.]
English doesn’t quite get the point across. This isn’t fear in the sense of afraid-for-my-life/scared-to-death; this fear of the Lord is the quickening of the pulse, the scared-to-life sense when holiness shows up. This isn’t fear that harm will come, but keen awareness of the difference between creature and Creator.
This awareness of my own limitations, this encounter with the love that created all that is, this is what I should desire more than gold. My finitude in the presence of the loving Infinite doesn’t diminish me: it just gives me the slightest glimpse of God’s sacred love of everyone and everything else.
It’s a wonderful and humbling gift of truth: I am God’s beloved, and I walk a world full of other beloveds.