Going Back To That Place

It's hard to describe this place that I am talking about, but maybe I can give some examples:

That place when as a child you wanted to be friends with someone, but they didn't want to be your friend.

That place when you first heard a sarcastic remark and felt confused and hurt, but didn’t know why.

That place when you shared a secret to someone and they blabbed it to everyone making fun of you.

That place when you first fell in love, before your heart was broken by an unrequited love.

That place that hopes, dreams, wishes and loves. That place of purity, wonder, innocence, trust, and compassion.

That place that we have all been once...before we learned about pain.

But because of sarcasm, betrayal, abuse, ridicule, disappointment and rejection…we have covered that place with brick and mortar and barbed wire. That place in our hearts where we try to protect ourselves from others peeking in and uncovering. That place of love that has been stepped on again and again and that we swear, no one will ever touch again.

We believe in true and innocent love, but in our own lives we distrust and cause others to distrust us. We fear pain, so we don’t make friends or don’t allow ourselves to fall in love; and those we do let in, we trust cautiously because we think they may not understand love like we understand love. Unfortunately our distrust spoils everything, making it harder for us to find and accept real love.

The world admires uncorrupted innocence, yet ridicules those who are sweet and naïve. The world also loves the dark, moody, sexy rebel, because they and we understand the hurt behind that rebellion. The world romanticizes about the one who lashes out, because that is the voice of innocence betrayed and abused.

We don't want to become vulnerable again, yet we love stories about first loves, forgiveness, apologies, sacrifice, reconciliation, and happily ever after because it is rarely the truth now.

Society today is armed to the teeth to protect itself from those whom are no longer innocent. We don’t talk to strangers, we eye our neighbors suspiciously, we lock our doors, set our burglar alarms and lock our hearts... to protect ourselves.

Reality has forced us to hide because we don't want to be the next victim. We avoid each other, staying home with our TVs and computers keeping us company. If we do communicate, it is through electronic devices instead of face to face. That way we can limit how much we give of ourselves and cut off those who get too close, because real people hurt us. They fail us. They don't appreciate us. And we don't have to work out problems with people if we don't want to. We can just avoid uncomfortable situations. Easy 1-2-3.

If we try hard enough we can make anybody go away.

We are cautious because there's no one we can really trust. But doesn't everyone feel the same way? We reason that if we avoid people, we will avoid pain. Yet if we avoid pain, we will also avoid love. And without love, we will starve to death.

We need to go back to that place, where we can be open to people and they can be open to us. Where we can smile freely and not worry about being un-cool. Where we can just be friends, stop pretending and be ourselves. Where we don't judge each other, but look at each other with understanding and compassion. Where having a personality doesn’t mean being sarcastic, jaded, nasty, or cynical, but honest, sweet, open and trustworthy. Where being successful is NOT measured by our achievements or income, but by how much we love and are loved, because to love is to take chances. To offer our heart to others is to risk that our love will be thrown to the ground.

It is a hard place. And many say we can never go back to that place because it is a place of vulnerability. It is a place where we feel love and pain. But I believe that when we accept Jesus Christ, this is exactly what He means when He asks us to be as a child. Where we are again open, loving, trusting and innocent. And yes, we will get hurt at times, but that is part of the experience called life.

Am I being naïve to think we can go back to this place? Is this impossible in the world now? We don't want to be abused, judged, laughed at ...all over again…but I wonder ...perhaps... if this is where we belong.

The Lord commands us to forgive each other, because this is the only way we can go back.

"Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." -
Matthew 18: 21-22

Jesus knows that we will always hurt each other, but through forgiveness...by the very act of releasing all the pain we have collected over the years by those whom we once loved and trusted...we can return to that place of purity and love where God intends us to be.

Most of us will never let ourselves go back to that place because we don’t want pain again. But that is also why we may never find joy, peace or true love, because we hold tight to our hurts and use them as reasons to remain walled off from anything beautiful. We secretly believe that anything wonderful will eventually be taken away from us. We don't want to open up old wounds or start new ones, so much of our days are spent protecting ourselves, but because of that, our lives never move forward. And that pain we seek to avoid has actually already taken over, controlling every part of our lives. If we cannot forgive each other, our resentment and bitterness will remain unchanged, making our fear of being unloved come true.

But it is different now with the Lord by our side.

We need to ask the Lord to bring us back to that place where we can freely give and receive real love...without hesitating and feeling afraid. Where we can be a genuine, unpretentious, and true with each other.

We need to feel love inside again. We need to take down the walls of our personal prisons and expose ourselves anyway, despite what has happened to us in the past and what may happen to us in the future, because this is how Jesus wants us to be. And we forget that the difference is...He is with us now, helping and healing us.

And though others might call us naïve, we should not be ashamed of being sensitive, full of heart, optimistic and hopeful because these are virtues long abandoned by most people, yet the most precious and valued by EVERYONE!

When Jesus asks us to go out into the world to love as He loves, He knows that this is the only way that we and the world will come to know Him: By His pure love shining from Him to us to others.

We need to go back to that place that we've never left.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
- Matthew 5:8


© 2005 Edrick

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