I was young when I learned that trusting people is a bad idea. And this belief has been continually reinforced throughout my life. It’s the reason I am intensely private. And it’s also the reason I write.
Because when I push publish, it pushes me out of the safety of these fortified walls I’ve built for myself.
Walls can protect but they can also isolate. They can free you from the fear of attack but they can also imprison you and keep you from knowing how it feels to fight and conquer that fear.
I don’t know why people hurt other people. Maybe they think that by wounding others they can somehow heal themselves. But that’s not how it works.
Jesus said, “do to others what you would have them do to you...” (Matthew 7:12)
This verse, known as the Golden Rule, is one I haven’t always measured up to but it is so important. And I wish we could get that. Because I guarantee if we did, there would be no more bombs and bullets. No cursing or criticizing. None of this silent, but just as vicious, passive-aggressive posturing to make ourselves feel more important, more righteous or more anything than anyone else.
I’m no Pollyanna. I know there’s evil in the world. I’ve seen it up close. And it sounds like a small thing when there’s blood on the streets but I’ll say it anyway.
When you’re betrayed by a friend or family member or someone you thought you could trust, and when they look you in the eye and smile because they are taking pleasure in your pain, it’s like shrapnel to the heart.
Those kind of wounds cut deep and they can leave lasting scars. But I know where to go for healing. I know God can be trusted to right all wrongs and I also believe that good will triumph in the end.
And in the meantime, I can pray. I can keep chipping away at these walls, scratching words into stone, choosing hope. Because as Andy says in the movie Shawshank Redemption,
“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things.
And no good thing ever dies.”
I hope for a new world where people treat others the way they would like to be treated. With kindness, respect and compassion.
I hope for that day when God’s promise is fully realized, when evil is defeated and heaven is revealed.
And when I come to that place, with shackles broken and heart wide open, I hope it’s as beautiful as it has been in my dreams.