With so much noise around us–crabby people at work, crazy drivers on their cell phones, cell phones in general, email, music, talking, blurring noise–all the time, everywhere, restaurants, elevators…noise.
Once in a while we’d like to simply be left alone. No one’s laundry to do, dishes to wash, meals to cook, errands to run, orders to follow or fulfill…we get it. And we want silence.
But, to be honest, sometimes we don’t want to really be left alone…we want someone to reach through and break the silence, to see the person underneath the headphones, the cell phone, the dish towel. We want to be touched deeper than mediocre conversation and occasional jokes about work or the family.
As hard as those next level questions are to ask they are equally as hard not to be heard. That is, the act of not asking can make it super awkward and difficult for another individual.
Someone told me in the coffee shop tonight, “You know when you’re out on the streets I don’t know if people care so much about being Lutheran, Catholic, or any other denomination that you call yourself. Labels don’t really matter. But if you can give them hope, something to wake up to in the morning–that’s more important…that’s what people need.”
Could it be that hope, although perhaps defined differently, is the same in every language of the human heart? But, how do you give someone hope–something to wake up to?
I’m not saying I have all the answers, or even the right answers. I know I have been lonely, left wanting, starred into the mirror and wondered if my current existence is really a life, am I really living? I have felt pain that I have never before imagined or understood, and I have heard silences more terrifying than a thunderstorm.
And because of many recent conversations, I know I am not alone.
Yet, I don’t know if this is comforting, or brings more sadness. So many of us feel alone. Nonetheless it has been in these moments that I have listened to the depths of my heart I have not heard in so long. I have become acquainted with the fact people need people, elementary, yes–but so much more.
The storm raging inside our minds sometimes drowns our every attempt at feeble conversation, drowns out the dreams and hopes we once had, drowns out the small voice inside telling us, “it’s going to be OK.” The storm continues to rage, to blow down the walls of security and comfort that once stood very high. The storm bellows out the lovely music of routine and order that once occupied the soundtrack of daily life. For better or for worse, we find ourselves vulnerable, and simply waiting for what will hit next.
But hope, love-can change the weather. A hand reaching out can pull us to shore, out of the storm and under a shelter. A voice can call out through the noise and silence the slander and awaken the language of our hearts. A warm touch, a gesture, a smile, a conversation…can change so much.
But how do we become that hope for another when we are struggling to see it for ourselves? Where is the hope that is bigger than any human longing, greater than our imagination? How do we become apart of something bigger than ourselves?