listening

My problem is that I think too much. Thoughts getting discombobulated and overwhelming as I sift through streams of information, trying to piece everything together in my mind to create the most astute, most inspiring, most clear-headed perspective.

There are ideas and facts and opinions, various ways of looking at things and as they all rush at you, 100 miles an hour, it’s easy to feel like whatever you say next will just be adding to the noise. And then, there’s the fear. Fear that whatever perspective you hold will somehow not be right and you’re going to get chided for it.

I get lost in the smattering of thoughts that fill my mind and I’m exhausted with the constant analytics I use to make the best judgement.

For the past week, I’ve tried my hardest to fit everything together in my mind, taking in different ideas to try to make up my own mind about things.

But the problem with ideas, with opinions, even with facts, is that they’re easy to dismiss when you’re done with them. Dissect them all you want and when you finally reach that moment of epiphany, shoo it all away so you don’t have to consider it anymore.

But, if you add a pair of eyes to that idea. Ones full of life, of thought, of emotion.

Then add a voice. Maybe the voice is deep and gravelly like my daddy’s; maybe it’s soft like my mother’s.

Add a name to that idea. And contained within that name is a lifetime; a lifetime of memories and eccentricities. Soon you start to wonder what the story is; favorite color, grandmother and her mother’s mother.

You can’t so easily dismiss humanity when it reaches you, calls to you. Collective voices like thunder roaring.

I am listening.

Listening to the too-long dismissed cries for the things we all take for granted.

Beneath the media streams there is story. Behind the ideas there is life. Behind the posts there are people.

I quiet my mind. Focus not on forming the perfect mosaic out of all the media outpourings and instead meditate on the mosaic masterpiece of our blessed humanity.

We are all human. All with story. All deserving of the living out of that story.

Grief and rage run like rivers in the dry waterbeds of my soul, canals I’ve too long kept dammed up with intellect and posterity.

I am ready to let those waters roar.

To let them swell and fill up however much space is needed for its full volume to finally be accounted for.

Grief for the unheard voices, grief for cities, grief for brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and children and their children’s children.

I want to lean in my ear, my heart, my alliance, realizing I could never fully understand, but leaning in nonetheless.

After all, who am I?

Who am I to separate one from their own voice,

Their own history,

Their own tongue?

I think of my own pain, my bones quaking under the weight of unnoticed ghosts.

Does Jesus come to tame me, to quell the waters stirring there, saying,

“Yes, yes,

But what are the facts?”

It is true: he gives me new perspective, but it is one born of love, empathy, and compassion.

The “fresh perspective” I receive from Jesus comes not from being taught,

But from being heard.

Heard by a God who carries our grief in his own bones. The skies riot and the earth groans with the tenacious, raucous fury of the God who fully sees, fully hears, and fully feels the story of his beloved.

I hear the untamable bellow declaring:

“I AM HERE I AM HERE I AM HERE.”

Victims no more. The thunderous echo of it rattling stones.

I stand here.

I stand in the grief, the rage, the story, the power.

I am listening.

I am listening.

And in the spirit of Jesus, I say,

“I am with you.”

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