I’m not a bad person, you know.
I said, and smiled encouragingly,
Whatever made you think you were?
It came as a response to an exceedingly kind gesture of his,
Oh wow, thank you! That was very thoughtful of you. I really do appreciate it!
And he sat in silence for a while.
I’m not a bad person, you know..
It was the second time he’d said this within a span of just three days. There was obviously much more to it. But what? A feeling of inadequacy; not living up to a standard; perhaps even a sense of having been a failure, a disappointment. Bad?
It made me wonder. It made me think. It still does. How does having done bad as a person equal to being a bad person? Haven’t we all been there, done that? Haven’t we all done things we shouldn’t be proud of in the least, perhaps even totally ashamed of?
I’ve never met anyone who shares as freely as you. It’s refreshing.
he said, and I smiled.
So what kind of things do you usually talk about then?
Just the normal stuff.
Well, guess this is “the normal stuff” for me..
That’s why I said it’s refreshing. You are raw. It’s so different. People don’t really open up like this anymore. I like it!
And I smiled, remembering a similar conversation I had some time ago; being raw, being real. I smiled an unhappy smile. He sensed it..
Why were people so scared of showing their true selves, being themselves, being real? I enjoy sharing for numerous reasons. Not just because it allows others to open up and feel accepted too, but because it’s easier. It’s stress and hassle-free. Putting up a facade is just to much work, and I like to believe I am a hard worker.
But the issue really is that you cannot afford to slack, ever! You can’t just start being who you are not and then throw in the towel. People would know. They would notice. It would be too embarrassing; especially for those who care to keep up appearances. Keeping that person alive is no “Kavaliersdelikt”. It’s something that must be taken very seriously and done constantly. No break, no pause, no interruption. Having created this new ideal identity, you have to make sure it remains perfect through times and seasons.
I’m not a lazy person but being who you are not is too much work, even for me!
It would also make me very paranoid. I don’t like paranoia. Not in anyone, and particularly not in myself. Being paranoid can be rather problematic for both obvious and hidden reasons. Apart from all the discomfort and restlessness and all other things that naturally come with it, it just doesn’t seem sensible. Self-inflicted paranoia? It makes no sense. Besides, I kind of like feeling appreciated and loved for who I truly am. I’d never really be sure of your love for me, seeing as you really do not know the true me. Would you still love me as you did if I told/showed you the truth?
I guess this is why such people are such judgementalists. Maybe it really isn’t about you not living up to a certain standard, but more about you feeling confident enough to own up to “your shame”. Especially since others are trying hard to conceal theirs. Keeping up impressions takes work and dedication! You better play along..
Be careful oh.. He’s bad! As in, original bad guy..
she told me afterwards. Bad? I couldn’t help but laugh; an air of familiar judgement..
Believe me, if he was good enough to die for, he couldn’t possibly be that bad.
Chapter closed. It really was that simple, and I was really not trying to play the “Christian”-card here. Really. Bad? How? Was he bad because you knew he had done things in the open that many others- perhaps even you included- have done too? And even if no one else has ever done any such thing before, surely they’d have done others. The devil’s very own invention: grading sin! Creating shades of grey; thus allowing us to feel and think better of ourselves than others when looking at the scales. “At least I’m not that bad.”
If there is one thing I have understood, it is probably the following..
Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
I’ve had “friends” who were drug dealers and those who took drugs.; worked closely with both human traffickers and those trafficked; lived with the abuser and the abused, and can confidently say that the single one element that transformed them all was love.
No teachings, preachings, deliverance services, or even beatings are able to do what love can. Not a single of these speaks and appeals more powerfully to the human heart and soul than loves does. A love that is not self-seeking or motivated by greed; that does not seek its own good but that of the other. A love that is selfless and unconditional. Just like favour at times, unmerited.
I think you are wonderful!
I said when exiting the car, sending him off with an honest smile. I knew wasn’t going to be the one to change him, make him a more respectable or honest man, but I sure was going to be there to show love and offer encouragement. If all he needed was to be told he was good and kind, I’d do just that. I was not going to lie, but I was sure going to emphasis what I saw and believed he had: a good heart.
We all tend to do better, to live up to expectations, when someone believes in us. It is the power and stirring wheel of faith. The reason cheerleaders exist, the sole purpose of fans’ chants. It is what keeps people going and growing. Truth is, you are really not that better..
My prayer today is that the words of out mouth and the meditation of our hearts may be acceptable in His sight. May we learn to speak words that build, not break ; encourage, not discourage; strengthen, not weaken the hearer. May the Lord fill each of our hearts with more of His love; so that what we give to and share with others might be out of the abundance, and not dark corners of our hearts. May we start seeing people as You see them; and may our lives indeed bring life to others.