Today, I’m grateful for courage. Really, what’s the worst that could happen? Ittaqullah. Fear only Allah and go for it!

I did something today that I’ve long wanted to do, but never before had the courage to do. Allahu Akbar.

Here’s how it went down:

I went to Fort Worth for the last day of Jason Lee’s A Plain View at Artspace 111. (Nice show of photographs from small towns in Texas. I was tempted to buy a couple, but I have a car loan to pay off, so I’ll wait for the book, maybe.)

I hadn’t been to Artspace 111 before. It’s on the far east side of downtown, near the corner of Hampton and Wheatherford, right near a bunch of railroad tracks. After I wandered through the show, I fetched a couple of cameras from the car and walked around a bit, took a few pictures of a graffiti-covered train and the kind of forgotten-about areas of scrub brush and small trees that you sometimes find on the edges of town near train tracks.

I was on the way back to the car when an older gentleman named Alfonso—a Vietnam-era veteran, marathon runner, and Funky Town native—approached for a chat. He lives nearby, has some health issues, and goes out for walks every day to keep his health up.

I hate talking to strangers, and in an area like that, I assumed he was going to ask me for some spare cash, and I had none to give him, so I was dreading the interaction, but he just wanted to chat, and chat we did.

He used to photograph some, commented on the Jason Lee show a bit, and talked about his health issues. Really, he just wanted someone to chat with, and so chat we did.

After 8 or 10 minutes, during a lull in the conversation, I asked if I could take his portrait, and he was happy to oblige.

Now. Somewhere in there, I faced one of my fears, practiced a bit of fearing only Allah, and went for it…

You’ll have to wait till I finish and develop the roll to find out, if I remember to mention it, but there’s a hint in the photo above, where I didn’t Ittaqullah…

So, fear only Allah. As He tells us:

وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him. And if He touches you with good – then He is over all things competent.

May He guide me to better, ameen.

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