Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Earnestness In Connecting
Judy Clement Wall at Zebra Sounds provided a link this morning that led to this article, The Age of Earnestness, which I have to admit, evoked such a powerful reaction in me its taken me all day to come to grips with it, and frankly, I'm not sure I'm still clear on what its telling me. Perhaps writing here will enlighten me. I had a slew of emotions rip through me, and so I got quiet and listened to what they had to say within me. I've learned to value any reaction within me, because I discovered years ago there are golden lessons to be learned within them if we will listen instead of act on them blindly. They give clues to what makes us tick, and can lead to healing if we are willing to sit in them until we find clarity. This particular reaction brought anger, and I felt something old stir within me. Yet the more I sat with it, the more I realized there was something more laying behind it.
What is earnestness? What does that look like, and feel like? What is it to be earnest? I know what the dictionary says it is, but what is it to really experience being earnest? The article I mentioned above is relating it to "the deep desire to honestly connect with someone." And the more I think about that, the more I find it is absolutely true, and at the heart of my personal emotions.
Throughout the day I realized there was one example after another flashing in at me of people throughout our history who expressed an earnestness in varying degrees. The one common element within them all was an ideal, a dream they were willing to give their very lives for. Their ideal, their dream, had become way bigger than their very lives! Their lives were nothing compared to their earnest desire to connect with people. They went up against incredible odds in their attempt to connect with their message. They swung everything they had within them, the full force of their entire being and more, into giving their ideal a chance to connect. And they showed up. They were willing to put themselves out there, expose themselves, with the full knowledge and understanding that they were going to make themselves a target. That didn't stop them. Can you imagine putting yourself in such a vulnerable position willingly?
All of these people valued life, and the quality of life was uppermost in their mind. Folks like Bin Laden and Hitler don't even compare! Their ideals, the dreams they said they served, were nothing more than self serving and destructive, and for sure they weren't willing to expose themselves, risking their own lives for what they believed in. No, they gave that job to others, and went and hid, valuing their own life above others. Nothing more than cowards in the end.
There are countless men and women who were, and still are, willing to lay their lives down for the ideal of freedom over tyranny. They will do whatever is necessary until one day, hopefully, what they have fought for, died for, will finally connect with a world. Let freedom ring.
There's Martin Luther King who had a dream of equality, to connect all people, and spent his life earnestly trying to break through the wall of racist thought in his attempt to connect his ideal with people.
There's Mahatma Gandhi, who King was inspired by to follow his non-violent methods for connecting his ideal vision with a people. Gandhi willingly experienced imprisonment, starvation through fasting, and many other means in his attempt to break through the wall of tyranny.
And lets not forget Jesus. Whether you believe in Him or not, the man had a sincere, earnest desire to connect with people. He had an ideal, a dream of love so big that it goes beyond anything anyone has ever done to this day. His desire and love for people was so intense that He bled from his very pores as He wept, before being tried and convicted and tortured and put to death. People focus on His death when they need to be focusing on His dream, the ideal He was living. Love all.
There are countless examples of folks with an earnest desire to connect. We all have that desire. I find it amazing how so many people desire something so simple, but can't seem to go there. What stands in the way? If you desire to connect, then connect! Isn't it amazing that a few of these people I just named actually lost their lives just talking about connecting?!
I think about these people...we make them out to be bigger somehow than we are. But they had to have started in the same place as you and me. They were living their lives, and while living it they saw a gap, and it probably began in their very homes. They desired to bridge that gap, to connect, and then found themselves up against some sort of invisible wall blocking the bridge they desired to build over the gap. They tried in earnest to connect with that person. Then maybe the more they looked into it, they saw it went wider, then wider still, and their earnestness to connect went wider with it, leading them along a path that led to where they ended up. When, quite simply, it could have all started with just a simple desire to connect with one person.
Which leads me back to my reaction this morning. In writing this I can see why I reacted so strongly. It feels like my entire life has been centered around my earnest desire to connect with one person. I recently stated to a friend, "I want to go home." More important to me than writing, more important than any other thing in my life, is a secret dream to connect with this one person. Every other thing I've ever done in my life was born from this simple, earnest, all consuming desire to be able to find a way around that wall erected, to be able to bridge the gap created a long, long time ago, so I could connect with this one person so she can truly know she is loved. Guilt is the wall, the tyrant that enslaves from within. Until this person finds it within to forgive self there will not be a connection that we both desire. I would see her free.
Let Freedom Ring.