Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dreamers


I need you to know that your prayers and your sweet words to me on yesterday's post had me teary-eyed off-and-on the entire day. It's been two weeks since Robert went back to the work release center, which is why I was finally able to write about it. I was settling in to the change and believed my tears were over, at least for a while.

Not so.
Not with you guys.

It's funny how things can still be so raw, but we don't fully even realize it.

Thank you for caring so much about us and especially about him. Thank you for reminding me of what is true. Thank you for pressing me to not give up. And thanks for being a safe place for me to tell the truth about things. Even when it's hard and the glass is half-empty with a crack up the side. The prayer I'm praying for him right now is this.

After reading several of your comments, I drove into town for a last minute lunch date with Cory. I will not waste your time by telling you what we ate. :)

We had time to talk about what happens next, our community and our family. We're ready to invest more and there are far too many names and faces we don't know yet. We want to know them.

I wish you could drive down these streets with me and see the pain in the faces who life near us, though you have the same streets near you. I'm sure of it.

I still look away sometimes. Other times I wave and they look back at me with so much brokenness, their expressions ranging from numbness to disgust. I feel like they aren't used to a stranger like me waving. I guess it's a start.

Last weekend I spent two unbelievably restful days with this lady. When we were awake, we were talking up a hot streak, about all the stuff that matters most and about what it means to really love.* It was everything I needed, and I'm not just saying that because I had the same beet salad with goat cheese twice in two days. It didn't feel frivolous to drive seven hours to see a friend, it felt necessary. I was in desperate need of a trap door.

Driving home on Sunday, Pink sang to me.  

So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways, all my underdogs
We will never be, never be anything but loud
And nitty, gritty, dirty, little freaks


Okay, the song is highly inappropriate in places. But all I could think is, she wrote a song to all these people who feel like she has felt. They needed a rally cry, and this is it. This isn't child's play here. It's not just silliness or a bid for attention. There are people everywhere who raise their proverbial glass to her words, and it has nothing to do with the catchy hook. It means something to them in a way I'll never understand. It means something because it's what they believe. It's how they feel.

They wear the labels we hand out. What else can they do?
We have marginalized people around us.
We've pushed them down with our words and our actions.

I don't know.

It's easy to judge people and singers and songs and all the things that aren't like us, but we've lived different lives than theirs. We'll never understand the depth of their angst or how we've helped create it.

Tonight, a little boy from our block broke the neighbor's swing. He's a stocky fellow.
I was helping Cory not ten feet away and I heard Silas say, "Nolan broke the swing because he's so...strong." Whew.

It didn't matter.

Nolan fled. I found him in a heap across the street.

"He called me fat."

While nothing with Siley is outside the realm of possibility, I knew that wasn't what he said. But Nolan broke the rusty swing, and as I crouched in the dirt beside him, rubbing his back, it was so obvious that this boy has lived all six of his years trying to claw out from underneath these words that shred his heart.

We wonder why there's so much pain out here. And in here.

Jesus is our fixer. He's their fixer. He's the only one who can change our thinking and help us see people (and ourselves) in the light of blinding truth.

I wore a new t-shirt to my hot lunch date because I'm obsessed with Sevenly and I said I'll do whatever I can to help. The work they do? It's Jesus work.

This week they're raising awareness for Show Hope to connect orphans in Asia with adoptive families in the U.S. By doing something as simple as buying a t-shirt, you're helping provide financial grants, which allow families to bring their children home.

Sometimes this world looks grim. There are young men in jail across town and shoeless kids with tear-streaked faces just across the street. There are wounded people on every side. They're bleeding out and it terrifies us. It's so hard to know how to help. It's so hard to believe we can, sometimes.

But I'm a dreamer.
And I hope I'm not the only one.


*Meg's giving away a copy of Love Does! You should try to win it. SO GOOD.