A couple of weeks ago I realized that, while it took me a lot of personal convincing and motivating and scolding at first, now – come rain, sun or even snow – getting my butt to the gym was simply not an option any-more, it had become second nature. This, in turn, caused me to re-examine my walk in other areas of life. Truth is, I recognized that it had become so much easier for me to exercise physically, than it had been to do so spiritually; at least of recent. There was this contention.
Anyway, as I met someone who simply would not let me remain lazy (I constantly had to be on my toes for the sake of both of us), I decided to give my life of worship a kind of make-over; putting an increased and conscious effort into focusing and working on the matters of life that actually made a difference in the grand scheme of things.
However, as I did so – intending to focus on myself and my immediate world – I smiled at the realization that it had, once again, never really been about me. That my desire and heartfelt need to be alone with Him – to talk and to listen – had very little to do with me; if anything at all. He had simply needed a vessel. There was a need and He needed a voice.
For, as I journeyed and allowed myself to be led, I saw the darkness that lay around. The pain, the hurt, the tears, the fears, The spells of confusion and depression, the unbearable emotions of loneliness and frustration. The cry for deliverance, the hope of death.
Black, as you well know, is not a colour at all, but the absorption of all colour, the absence of light. To some people, life – regardless of how bright it may seem to you – is nothing more than prolonged darkness;, an endless prison-sentence; a torturous existence.
What I saw, as I journeyed through, were people who desperately needed someone to speak both on their behalf and to them. Was there no one they could speak to?
And as an old friend of mine (one I could no longer speak to) came to mind, I sent a message to a close friend of hers, admonishing her to show some love and perhaps give the said person a call.
“Oh, I just spoke to her” it came, “she’s actually doing great. She’s awesome!”
I sighed, knowing just how ill-informed the response truly was. I knew better, for I had looked more closely, had felt more deeply, had listened more intently. But, could she be blamed?
Very often those who hurt the most, carry the most beautiful façades. Consequently, there are many things people never really see. With everyone trying to make ends meet, competing for scarce resources (be it money, employment, or even love), there was only so much of one’s attention one could really spare to give- to those willing enough to receive. After all, who has time or money to waste?
But maybe (this is something you might want to take under advisement) putting your own needs and life on-hold for another, might not be too outrageous a suggestion after-all. Especially, when considering the fact that no man is an island and the actions of whoever powerful or powerless a person will one day – directly or indirectly- affect you too. Just as blessed people bless, hurting people hurt. Both matters of the heart, naturally, are matters of perception and attitude.
Ultimately, in being strong for the weak and in sharpening iron, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, life is about people. It is about standing in the gap. It is about rescuing the fallen, laughing with the cheerful, and crying with the mourning. It is about being there for those who are in dire need of support – whether they acknowledge it or not. It is about offering held, even if/when not asked; about giving a hand or lending a shoulder when a neighbour is in obvious (or perceived) need. Life is about building relationships and thus sustaining life.
Is it not this very support and care, the need for community and society, that has kept families and cultures in-tact for so many centuries; and the absence of this very force, that which drives cultures and peoples apart today?
I do not know whether the answer lies in people being more sensitive or hurting people simply being more honest. Perhaps a combination of both would suffice; for the time being.