Thursday, March 8, 2012


I know. I haven't posted the past two nights. I'm not doing NaBloPoMo this month, and end-of-the-quarter grading vision loss has set in, so I slacked off a couple of nights. I'm humbled by those of you who wrote or told me in person that you missed reading here. Thank you. I write here at night like that late-night DJ who spins his tunes in the lonely dark while everyone else is sleeping. Thank you for reading.

I was reminded tonight of something I need to think more about and it's this: When we set out to intentionally hurt one person, we will inevitably hurt others too. Maybe the collateral damage is worth it, but maybe we don't notice or care that we've let off emotional tear gas in the building as we're leaving. Maybe we should notice. (Or maybe hurting people on purpose sucks big green donkey balls, but some people seem compelled. That's 'nother post.)

Just to keep this real .... look, I'm easy to hurt. I lead with my heart. I make no secret of my vulnerability, and I take most blows head on because I don't live life behind a shield. But a direct strike at me can hurt others who don't even know to duck. I watched it happen tonight.

I can't do anything about other people's behavior. The lesson for me is that the next time I feel like striking out at someone -- and that's a rare occurrence except on the highway -- I'm going to think a little harder about who else I might be hurting at the same time.

I'm not an expert on Jesus, and I don't play an expert on TV. As far as I can tell, he was a cool, liberal young rabbi of his time, and I don't claim to know his heart or even his words. But I believe he said something like whatever you do to the least of these, you also do to me. Don't worry. Jesus wasn't hurt tonight, but I understood what he meant. When you hurt someone, you don't just hurt one person. There are innocents all around. 

Have you ever hurt someone out of anger or meanness or fear of losing something, and then realized you unintentionally hurt someone else, caught someone in the cross-fire? Is it possible you've done it without knowing it?

I'm going to consider this question myself. I may write more about it.
I had a dream last night, and in it I guess I received a message. I don't believe in dreams, but sometimes it happens. In the dream somebody stood beside me and said, "It never could have worked. He's not allowed to talk. He's not allowed to touch her. He's not allowed to be himself. You have to know that's more compelling than anything you have to offer." In the dream I walked out of the room ... and then I woke up. I woke up months ago.

I rarely strike out, because more often than not, I understand. Even without dreams, I understand.


  1. Just what I needed to read. In fact, you frequently write something I need to read. Thank you.

    I recently was very hurt by someone close to me. I keep reminding myself she's going through a tough time, she doesn't know all the facts, I was probably the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. She doesn't even have to know how hurt I am.

    But you're right. I can't talk about it, and my silence and sullenness is hurting others. Time for me to snap out of it.

    1. Hi Debbi. Although I was writing last night about somebody who hurts me on purpose, today I've been thinking about how I might have inadvertently hurt people who weren't involved in my drama.

      I hope you work things out with your friend. It sounds like she's important to you, and you obviously don't like this hurt hanging between you. Maybe someday you'll be able to talk to her about it and she'll be able to listen. I wasn't able to work things out in the situation I wrote about, but more often than not, I either clear the air with honesty or clear my head by realizing sometimes I just have to let go of my hurt or indignation or anger if only for my piece of mind.

      Keeping your heart open can hurt like hell sometimes.