Let’s begin by thanking everyone who took the time to read, like, comment, and follow…I am deeply appreciative for all of you. The comments you left where witty, insightful, and best of all, at least for me, made me think. It made me even more grateful for our blogging community.
But I really can’t take all the credit for this post. I was inspired by a lady who writes with such gut-wrenching honesty that at times she has literally taken my breath away with her posts. Her blog is called Herstory in Pieces and can be found at http://artyself.wordpress.com. Be warned her words are strong and she doesn’t sweeten it up, but she has a voice that comes at you with urgency, honesty, and sheer power.
Now if you’ve got the time I would like to tell you a story.
Many years ago there was a young man who didn’t think much. Actually that isn’t completely true. He thought a lot, he just didn’t think to deeply. He once heard a preacher talk about people who were a mile wide, but only an inch deep. He thought that summed him up pretty well. He had lived long and hard enough to know he wasn’t an intellectual. The scars on his body were enough evidence that he believed in the power of might over the power of the mind. His motto was, “If you didn’t believe the way he did,…well he just hadn’t hit you hard enough yet.”
But he was getting older and it was beginning to dawn on him that possibly you couldn’t live this way the rest of your life. Yet he was still full of himself, as his Momma like to say. So while there was a part of him that was beginning to understand there would have to be some foundational changes sooner rather than later, still he was stubborn, headstrong, and projected the image of knowing it all.
He was in control, let there be no doubt about that, and in his line of work that was a good image to have. He was a drug dealer. He had started off small, scraping here and there, maneuvering back and forth, always playing the angles. He wasn’t a pool shark, but he understood angles. He knew how to put the right spin on a situation to create a favorable outcome. So when the woman who had caught his eye began complaining about how inconsiderate her husband was, he knew what approach to take. He had done it so many times he could practically do it in his sleep…no not practically…he could do it in his sleep.
So he told her exactly what she wanted to hear, and slowly…ever so slowly…she began to see things his way. The husband didn’t love her…how could he and act the way he did. Of course, the young man understood her pain…remarkably it was a lot like the pain he felt. She just needed someone to love her, the true her. She didn’t need to conform to anyone else’s idea of what she should be. She should be free. Free to do whatever she wanted, with whomever she wanted. Besides marriage is such a pain…just a concept of man to enslave women…and surely she was beyond all that.
Over time the words worked, just like he knew they would. She started staying over at his home. He gave her money from time to time, paid off a few of her bills, and she liked that. She hadn’t even asked. He simply saw them in her purse, pulled them out, totaled them up, and given her the money…plus a couple of grand more so she could buy some new clothes.
The husband meanwhile came to his senses…or at least what he thought was his senses. Faced with losing his wife he lost it. He started coming over to her apartment (which was paid for by the young man) and begging her to give him one more chance. At first she refused, but the words, and the tears, and the begging began to wear on her…she wavered. But the young man had seen it all before. He knew how to handle this.
It escalated, like these things always do. Finally one day the woman broke down in front of the young man and said, “I don’t know what to do. He says he’ll kill himself if I don’t come back.”
In the young man’s mind he smirked. He thought the husband was better than that, at least more inventive. The I-can’t-live-without-you, was probably the oldest trick in the book and the most lame. People made that claim then sneaked off somewhere to lick their wounds…they were amateurs…nothing more. He had won and he knew it. It was going to be a hollow win, because he didn’t really care for the woman. She was just a part of his game…nothing more.
The last time he saw the woman is engraved in his memory for all eternity…
“You said he wouldn’t do it!” she shrieked with tears running down her face.
The young man is older now…and hell of a lot wiser. He is cautious and he no longer plays games with people’s souls. He worries, in a responsible way, about the effect his words have on people. He has dedicated his life, his breath, his energy, and his prayers to helping others understand they can change. That there is nothing they have done in life that is so terrible, or so awful, or so degrading, that they cannot be redeemed. No one is beyond help.
I know…I am the young man.