to write love on her arms.

this is an excerpt from a blog i just found on the “To Write Love on Her Arms” myspace page.  i love it and wanted to share it with whoever would find it on my blog…

I want to close with two stories that have hit me really hard in the last few weeks…“Laughter is the evidence of freedom.” Bono says that. It’s one of my favorite quotes. If that’s true, then we would assume that a guy like Owen Wilson is certainly free. We always see him laughing. He is always making us laugh. Like a lot of you, I was shocked by the news of Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt.

And in the same week, Mother Theresa was on the cover of Time Magazine. For those of you who don’t know, Mother Theresa is remembered throughout the world as one of the greatest people ever to live. Her service, generosity, humility and leadership in working with the poor and dying in Calcutta, India is known throughout the world. Within the Church, she is known as one of the greatest examples of the Christian life. In short, her life was undeniable.

This cover suggested something different: “The Secret Life of Mother Theresa” it said in bold type, “Her Secret Agony” the headline inside. The article spoke to a 50-year near-silent struggle, and painted a different picture. Mother Theresa in pain. Mother Theresa feeling far from God. I suppose the story was meant to shock. It debated faith and doubt…

I finished the story with a smile. “Wow, she was human after all. She was one of us. She was broken. She was real.” That was my response.

And in the same moment, Owen Wilson is on the cover of People, that word “secret” there again. “The Secret Pain of Owen Wilson”. And again, a different picture. Heartache. Addiction. Pain. But what about all the millions in the bank? What about all the fame and all the fans, all the people who love him? Surely, he could find another girl… There’s plenty of fish in the sea, right?

Or maybe life is really really hard. For pretty much everyone. And suddenly, Owen Wilson is one of us. A human being. A real person with real problems. Questions. Struggles. A person in need.

This could probably be it’s own essay, which it wasn’t meant to… I guess I just want to say that I find hope in this possibility that we all have a lot more in common than we might guess at first glance. These are people that our culture, people everywhere, place on pedestals. And yet these are people who could not escape the human condition. Broken people, people in need of hope.

Life is hard. Owen Wilson isn’t always laughing. Mother Theresa wasn’t always walking the streets of Calcutta feeling like a million bucks. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is this: We are very much the same. We are people in need. Life is hard for most of us most of the time. Our fragile hearts break. We all have a story, and in every story, in every life, there is so much going on below the surface. And perhaps there are moments where you pray, but God feels far away. Does He care? Does anyone care? Is there hope for us?

I say yes. We say yes.

I have been learning a lot about community. I believe it’s the idea that people need other people, that we need people who know us. We need relationships and places where we can be honest. We will face complex problems, complex questions, that require complex answers. It is certainly easier to stay silent, to skip this whole conversation. That’s what most people do. We don’t like dirty laundry. We prefer to wear our cleanest shirt. But we have to face our broken stuff. We have to do our laundry. We have to learn to heal, to let go, to grow. We were meant to live.

The process might be uncomfortable. It probably will. For some, it’s a phone call to a hotline, or a counseling office. “I’d like to make an appointment”, “I need to talk to someone” or maybe it’s simply sitting down with your parents, or a friend, or a teacher, for a conversation that’s long-overdue. Is there someone you trust? Is there someone who knows you? I hope so. I know I need that. I think we all need that.

A friend sent me a really difficult email a few days ago. When I read the subject, I knew what it was about. I was so freaked out that I didn’t read it for two days. I just let it sit in my inbox and I worried about it. I was afraid to face it.

And finally, I opened it. And it was painful. Some really hard truths. The kind that steal your sleep. But it was his last words that hit me the hardest: “Hope is not a myth”, he said. And that is the thing that has stayed with me, that possibility that this thing we talk about, it is true. And if something is true, it is certain. We can reach for it. Lean on it. Run to it. Hope is not a myth.

So wherever you are tonight, wherever this finds you… You are not alone. We are all a people in need. But there is so much hope. And hope is not a myth.

Peace to you tonight.


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