I don’t own my distractions. They own me. They own you. If you sit and wait long enough for all the voices to abandon in you silence, you might sense the utter chaos that is trying to call you “home”. Just walking down the street is a chore. To your left there might be a billboard shouting of how you might need this new HD television and if you buy it now it will come with three DVD’s of your choice. And inconspicously hiding next to that TV is either a hot guy or some hot girl, as if to say that the TV will somehow fix your marriage, get you a lover or make you feel good about yourself. And that’s just on the left-handside of the road!
Then on the right, the grey-colored streets might be littered with old newspapers blowing in the wind, as if it was a scene from an old John Wayne movie poster. Nestled in the corners of these streets are people hidden behind the billboards. They’re called shadows. They are the one’s that we either miss because we’ve seen them too many times or maybe they choose to remain to be shadows, because it’s safer for them that way. Either way, they too add to the distractions — to the noise. When in history did self-esteem and self-awareness become more important than compassion? When did watching films about pain and destruction become so cool and to be in pain or share someone else’s become a sign of weakness? I think we like our lives filled half-truths and our faces covered with something else other than our own, it gives us something that we can hide behind.
The yellow dotted-line in the middle of the road is ancient metaphor for life. It is not to be read as a day cut and divided into pieces. But to be seen as a place where we make crucial decisions. Are we going to turn left and feed our inability to be aware of anyone else around us? To sit at the table with those in need and grab a fork and dig in and take a slow methodical bite of self-pity and gulp it down with a large sip of our worst fears of rejection and fear? There is healing in healing someone else. The peace we are looking for might be found in the storms of another. We can no longer walk this road with our eyes closed. The reality is that we need each other. Drink that in. Let it redefine everything. We were made to “bear one another’s burdens”. We weren’t made to cross the yellow-dotted line alone. We were made for more. Shadows sitting behind the billboard are waiting for you to realize this.
There is safety in our very own hand-carved fantasies we all are accustomed to. They very easily come with the masks we know we shouldn’t long for. They somehow hide the scars that all make us the same, that connect us. And if we take the time to take it off, we might be too scared to realize why we don’t want to interact with the shadows on the street. Because they used to be me,they used to be you and the person sitting next to you. In the ancient Hebrew scriptures, a Rabbi named Jesus calls these people salt and light. He was willing to build the Kingdom with them and us. The question isn’t what He did with them, the question is what are you doing with them?