Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Few Thoughts

            It hurts to look at broken hearted people.  I have listened to people, believers and unbelievers alike, relate things that have left me with an unfulfillable sense of longing that the final day would at last come upon us.  Everybody has a dream.  We all wish we belonged somewhere.  There is a hunger to be at home in all of us.  Acceptance and unconditional love are what every person is on an active quest to find.  People expose themselves to others.  We become undressed as we let down our guard and show others what we truly are.  This makes the pain of rejection and loneliness all the worse.  The more of us people are able to see, the more we know they are rejecting who we really are as people.  The more we show others, the more pain we will feel if rejected.  All people expose themselves to pain like this at some time or other.  Hardness of heart is rampant on earth because of this.  Even a small child hardened by just a short lifetime of rejection and heartache did at one time expose his heart and emotions to the expected pity and love of others nearby.  A friend once related to me the eerie silence he experienced walking through an Ethiopian orphanage.  When he asked a worker why it was so quiet, she replied, “The babies know that no matter how much they cry out, no one is coming.  And therefore, they lay there silent.”  Like those Ethiopian babies, many of us continue to weep, but silently.
            When you meet a hardened adult who seems to have stopped dreaming altogether, try to imagine them when all their dreams were still new.  Look past the wrinkled lines of heartache and the weathering of age to the youthful brightness that no doubt once shone forth.  In our day people often try to approach such things in a detached and clinical fashion.  Something about technology has coated us with an almost impenetrable layer of artificiality.  Living in the Information Age has not given us all of the answers.  It has made us knowledgeable.  But it has ruthlessly stripped our relationships down to their functional essentials.  Still, the desire to love and be loved, to live vulnerably before people in our communities of affection haunts people.  We can analyze one another, administer drug therapy to those who act out, and make every excuse for the outrageous behavior plaguing our world today, but the source is the same for all of it:  We are fallen and evil, we have rebelled against God, and our longing for love, acceptance, and accomplishment makes us act like selfish, ruthless, wretches.  
People have gifts they’ve been given by God.  It hurts to see them not using those gifts.  I think of young women who refuse to marry because of heartache they never healed from because of absent or abusive fathers - and yet, when you see these women live, you can’t help but notice their natural giftedness to be a helper to a man, to be gracious and compassionate to children, and the happiness they might have known had their hearts not been so irreparably broken when they were young.  I think of young men who just don’t know how to love a woman, who have no vision or drive to become anything, to learn to provide, and to lead spiritually, and yet the hunger to fulfill the purpose for which they were created nags the core of their hearts.  It hurts to see such things.  Such is the nature of a world racked with sin.  It is you and me who inflict this pain on others.  We are all perpetrators and victims alike.  My father once told me: “hurt people hurt people.”  And thus, we hurt each other.  
In Jesus Christ, there is a fellowship, friendship, and brotherhood that is unknown in the rest of the world.  We still hurt one another, we still feel pain, but there is grace, forgiveness, and joy that is supernatural in origin.  Christian brotherhood and sisterhood is one of the greatest blessings in the life of every true believer in Jesus Christ.