There was something else on my mind when I first contacted my friend Gil. I was trapped in that little world that I call “Self” and I knew that I needed to get out of there. I wanted to make a contribution to this world.
I’m going to back up and talk about the man that I saw for four months, who finally admitted he lived with a woman. I actually mentioned to him that I’d written about him in my story. I had to assure him that he was “anonymous” just to bring some color back into his face (and later I learned why!). Anyway, he had hopes that I likened his character to Chuck Norris, but I’m going to call him your average “Joe”.
It was never my intention to present a one-sided version of this particular saga. Obviously he was dead wrong to withhold that crucial piece of information from me, but in spite of THAT, there are some really nice things I could say about “Joe”.
We had many laughs together, he listened to me talk incessantly, and he encouraged me a lot. We shared stories about our hardships, past and present, and there were things he told me about himself that left me with a heavy heart, full of compassion.
I’m not an idiot. I knew something was amiss from the very beginning, but I chose to ignore it. I wasn’t ready to face reality, I guess. I was living in fantasyland and was perfectly happy there…for a while.
My point is…I read something once…I think it was in a Philip Yancey book, about the way we see people when we are falling in love. We put all of our focus on what’s good in them, and overlook the bad. He compares it to how God sees us. Everyone has flaws, and we all make bad decisions, but God looks right through our defects and deep into our hearts.
I set out on this journey hoping to make a difference in the world. Perhaps imagining how people look through God’s eyes was helping me grasp that things aren’t always black and white. I was learning to appreciate the bigger picture, where the two extremes merge together to create countless shades of gray.
Anyway, I wasn’t trying to throw “Joe” overboard, or under the bus for that matter. I stopped seeing him, of course, but I have no anger. He’s only human, and he has a story. Everyone has a story.
Maybe we all just need to be heard.
Next Up: The Great Escape
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou