I remember before I accepted the Lord- right around 1990- I was convinced that New York would be destroyed by a nuclear attack. Someone had interpreted the visions of Nostradamus as such, and I lived with that horror always at the forefront of my mind.

I recently watched Akira Kurosawa’s “I LIVE IN FEAR”. Filmed in 1955, the story follows the life of an elderly Japanese businessman- played brilliantly by a young Toshiro Mifune- who is tormented by the fear of another atomic attack.

(I should say before I continue, that I had no idea the week I decided to post about Kurosawa, and the fear of the atomic bomb would also be the week of the 68th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was completely not planned.)

The character, Nakajima, is obsessed with relocating his entire family to Brazil, a place he decides is the safest on earth. But his family is resistant, even insensitive to his fears, and ultimately end up ruining his plans.

As I sat watching Nakajima’s consuming fear I was reminded of my own not so long ago…

My plan was to earn enough money for Eve and I to move away to who knows where, but every attempt I made was stopped at every turn. As with Nakajima, the pressure, the fear of annihilation was intense, and at times even overwhelming.

Then, one day I received a call from an old high school friend, and eventually the conversation turned to everything ending in a fiery mushroom cloud, but more than my own death, it was the thought that I would never be able to grow old with the woman I loved that really broke me down. I began to weep uncontrollably, and it was there, over the phone, in my bedroom, that my friend led me to the Lord.

In that moment, all the fears were wiped away. And as for the woman I loved, I married her.

I saw so much of myself in Nakajima, but our similarities ended in this: he never found Hope. In the midst of his fears, and his anxiety over his loved ones, his lack of any hope eventually cost him his mind.

He went mad, and I could not help but think there but for the grace of God go I.