Friday, August 31, 2012

GUARDIAN

~This week Alanis Morissette released her new album Havoc/Bright Lights this one song deeply moved me Please enjoy before YouTube pulls it~

As a kid who grew up in a tough neighborhood, I seemed to get in fights continually. I can honestly say that I have no idea how many fights I have won or lost. The one thing my Dad taught me was to NEVER show vulnerability. The reason being, if someone you are fighting knows you are hurt - they will zero in on your pain. That may or may not have been good advise to a teenager who was perpetually getting into conflicts -- but for a normal person it was and is horrible advice. As one who grew up in the 50's and 60's boys and men were to emulate John Wayne. You never showed weakness, vulnerability or pain -- above all you never cried.
     As a result, many of us grew up with detached and unemotional fathers. Anger was the only emotion they seemed willing to share.
     Unfortunately, this tendency to hide our pain has continued into the 21st Century. Oh, it is not as violent as my teenage years, but it is there all the same. When asked how we are doing? People say, "Fine", "Great" or Canadians, "Not too bad". We have learned through years of this conditioning to bury our pain and our struggles. We are surrounded by people who are completely overwhelmed on the inside, while all the time seem to have it all together.
     Christians get up on Sunday and put on their Sunday Go to Meeting Cloths. Never intending to share their struggles and honestly not wanting hear anyone else's. It is no wonder that our kids and young adults see this as hypocrisy. They hear the conversations about lack of money, jobs at risk, looming foreclosures and marital discord -- Yet everything is "Fine", "Great" and "Wonderful".
     Everyone need a safe place. A place where we can be who we are, warts and all. For many it is a close friend, sibling or spouse. For others it is a group of people who can be trusted. But more than anything it is a place where people actually care. My son and I were talking about how people love to watch others fail - I believe many NASCAR fans watch it for the wrecks. I told Nathan how Paul in Romans 12 said we are to "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." It appears Nathan has hit the nail on the head for much of our culture -- we rejoice when people weep and weep when people rejoice.
     All I am asking for in this short message is to ask you to find and surround yourself with people that care about you. More than that, I ask that you actually care about the people God puts on your path. Share the joys and sorrows of your life and those of those around you.
Peace
~Al