A voice understood.
In what seems like another lifetime, back when I was in high school, I took a drama and public speaking class. Some of the assignments were writing speeches of various types and having to give that speech to the class. One was humorous. Little did I know where this would lead, but I wander off topic. In this humorous speech, I told of a race of little people. Little as in small enough to ride on the back of ants or if they were really in a hurry, dragonfly. In my terrified state I wasn’t seeing the reactions of the class, I was simply trying to get through it and sit down. Apparently it was good, because as we were leaving class, several students in all sincerity asked if they were real. Only in my mind y’all, only in my mind.
How easy, is it for a good speaker to convince listeners of what they are discussing? How many cults have been created by one with eloquent voice? How many, have followed blindly because of the words of one who speaks well, even when their intent is not innocent? Words have great power, especially when delivered by one who knows how to use them well.
I wish, that I could come up with the words, that I could share, and be a voice understood. One that cries out like John the Baptist, in the wilderness. A voice delivering a message to all who would hear.
We are a populace suffering. Feeling a pain on many different levels. The darkness of fear, of hurt, of all the sad, bad, wrong things going on, covering the world in a fog of despair. The suffering walk among us. The suffering, could be any one at any given time. No one is immune. There is no pharmaceutical vaccination for this darkness. The variants too numerous. The causes to vast.
All through this month, I have written about gifts. Not so much gifts for me, but gifts that can be shared. Gifts that used properly would bring about a difference. For a very long time over on a certain social media site, I would add a tag line to all of my status posts. Each a variant of ‘be the difference’. We so desperately need people to seek out, to find ways, to dare to act and be the difference. Be the difference a world so badly needs in so many ways.
I have written about the hungry. I have written about the homeless who have nothing. I have written about the abused. We know that there are people in need around us. We see them, standing on the street, sitting on a sidewalk, despondent, desperate, hoping that someone will see them. I write, because often we allow ourselves to forget, to turn away and pretend not to see. We allow ourselves to make excuses, to justify our not helping, to judge and condemn and walk on by.
I have written, because I want to be the voice of those who have none. I have written, because I want to open a few closed eyes, so they may see what is in front of them. I want the ones who have turned away, ignoring the sight of the hurting to see the pain. I want to open the ears of those who refuse to hear the cries of the ones in need. Who hum a tune as they pass, to cover their pleas. I want them to once again hear the cries, to hear the suffering, the need. I have written to bring it once again to the forefront of our minds. To remind us, these are people. They are not inanimate objects, they are not human trash, they are not animals. They are people and they are people in need. I write, to awaken a compassion within the heart of others. That they can feel and understand the pain, even minutely. That their heart feels the agony of the homeless, the hungry, the hurting.
I write not only for the homeless, but for those who have been abandoned. The elderly whose family doesn’t visit. Who sit alone in their home, their only companion a pet, or the television. Possibly unable to move about due to limited or no mobility, they sit staring into the empty. Wishing for a visit or even a phone call to let them know they are remembered. Those in an assisted living facility. Those whose family has placed them there and walked away. Those who lift hopeful eyes with each visitor to the facility, hoping that someone had finally come to see them.
I write for the abused, in all of its forms. The beaten, the starved, the trafficked.
I write for those who have no way to speak. Whose voices are drowned out by the busy way people live. Whose voices are ignored as unimportant. I write, for those who sit forlorn and alone. Wondering how they ended up in such a way. I write, in the hope of an awakening. That instead of ignoring, instead of judging and condemning, we love.
I do not write to incite. I want no riots or marching protests. I want no burned buildings or blocked highways. No looting of businesses, no throwing of bricks. I do not write, to place blame or toss accusations. This is not something that is in any one city, state, country. This is a world wide epidemic of the most harmful sort. It effects the heart, the mind, the soul of all. At any moment there could be a loss that sends others spiraling into the pain they seek to ignore and avoid.
If I could ask for a gift, it would be for a voice and a message understood. That we need to see clearly what and who are before us. We need to listen for their cries. We need to feel as we are able, their pain. But not only that, we need to act on those and be the difference. Create a difference. Acknowledge this is happening around us and proceed to do something about what we see.
Shelters are good, but they are temporary. Food kitchens are good, but they only address the immediate and not the problem. You can hand a dollar to the homeless, but that won’t get them off the street and into somewhere safe. Yes, there will always be the poor among us. Yes, there will always be need. That does not give us the excuse to ignore and avoid.
So I will write, and I will remind, and I will pray for a voice and a message that can be understood.