Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From 1,200 Miles Away

Everyone carries something heavy and burdensome with them. Not necessarily physically, but there’s something about carrying something around so mentally draining and heartbreakingly sad that it takes a toll on you physically.

“I remember someone I know…knew, wrote a poem about the ocean. It was beautiful, I loved it. Every time I visited the ocean after reading that poem I always thought of it.” The mid-teens, long haired, slightly awkward girl kicked at the sidewalk as she leaned forward slightly, sitting on her hands as her eyes fixated on the pavement. There wasn't any particular difference in her appearance that day but I'm pretty sure her hair and eyes have become duller and sadder. I went through a quick mental deduction of what could be wrong. Boy problems? Home issues? Parents, siblings? She had just moved into town, maybe she was homesick. It couldn't be any of her friends else I would know, I theorized. But then what do I know? But there was something about the way that she stumbled over the past and present tense of know and knew that made me think that her burden that day was the author of the poem. What had happened, I wondered, but when I asked she declined in-depth reply. “I don’t want to talk about that today,” she had said as she sat back and drew her knees up under her chin.

“That’s fine. We can talk about whatever you feel like talking about today.” Keeping my voice light and friendly was effortless, as it should be. I see it as my job to be clam and approachable so people like her could feel safe and secure about talking to me. 

Feel.” I hear her mutter with sarcasm under her breath.

“Yes?” I say, pretending not to properly hear.

“The ocean.” She wrapped her arms around her legs and hugged them closer to her, as if to protect herself. “I miss the ocean.”

I nodded my head slightly. “The ocean is a beautiful place.” She was staring off into nowhere.

“It is.”

That was when I saw it. In the question of person, place or thing, it was not a person as I had originally guessed, but a place. From twelve hundred miles away the place she called home is calling her name, but the most heartbreaking thing for her is that it’s a call she can’t answer.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"To Love At All Is To Be Venerable"

I know. This isn't Tuesday. Nothing went up on Tuesday. Nothing went up on Tuesday because of reasons so there's my excuse.

I thought I'd share this with you all. It's a little something from my brain that I wrote and posted to Tumblr a bit back (here's the original post). It's a thought I ponder often, and a lesson I seem to be constantly walking through. Maybe it applies to you too. Either way, I hope this blesses you in some way.

Here you go:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” - C.S. Lewis

I’ve been thinking about that quote lately. I like it, and I agree with nearly all of it. However, I don’t agree that a heart can become irredeemable. God can redeem anything, if one lets him. But anyway…

It’s true you know. To love is to be vulnerable. Any kind of love, agape (unconditional), érōs (romantic), philía (friendship), as soon as you give it away, you’re putting yourself right dead smack in the middle of Very Probable Hurt. That’s an awful lot of power to hand over.

For some, it’s just easier not to do that. Or maybe it’s not easier; it merely appears to be the safer alternative to putting oneself “out there” again and risk getting smashed to pieces yet again. And as good as that decision may seem at the time, curling deep into a sheltered shell really isn’t the greatest idea. Why? Because it’s true. Your heart will change. It’ll grow cold, hard, and bitterly miserable. Not only will it not give away love, it’ll have a very hard time accepting it in any form. It won’t stay inside either. Give it some time, and it’ll change you from the inside out. Sure, maybe you need to “give yourself a break”, or maybe you’re just not the type to wear your heart on your sleeve, but God didn’t make hearts to be bubble wrapped and stored away forever. He sure as heck doesn’t do that with his.

I suppose what I’m getting at is, being broken and hurt is a part of this life. People will hurt you. That’s a fact. But there’s beauty in brokenness, and lessons to learn. Running from it only makes things worse. But I guess that’s selfish nature, isn’t it? Yet in order to protect ourselves in such a way we end up destroying instead.

There is a bright side. God will always be there to pick you up when you fall, if you let him. And by the way, he’s one that’ll never betray.

And you know what I’m really learning? To love is to deny yourself. Unless it’s narcissism.

Easier said then done. Far easier to ponder and write. Why is doing always the hard part? It’s annoying.