Archive for February, 2012

Cheers to a Life Among Thorns

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 by michaelcogdill

I work in thorns. 

They grow across every working day, twist and lascerate through the news I report.  An inhumanity so sharp and hard it nearly runs hope straight through to its doom.  Bloodletting seems the autograph of the news.

Yet after 20 years of working at its scarlet hand, I am more than hopeful.  I am witness to goodness, to beauty.  I write here to remind you the cutting thorn patch of the news is but the undergrowth.  There is a bouquet.  It is a transcendant, immeasurable love, made strong by the scars of thorn.  It is humankind’s only hope.  I am here to say humankind carries it well.

When you see or hear or read a story of sadistic violence, you’ll seldom see the first responders who held a child or widow in its wake.  Oh, you might catch sight of one, but they’re easy to miss.  They don’t vaunt themselves.  They just work that same thorn patch with a quiet, world-changing kindness.  They do it for strangers.  They would for you.

But such love runs out beyond this.  In neighborhoods swamped by despair, with families cut in two by terrible acts and events, the neighbors and the strangers come out.  They come in.  Somewhere someone in the throes of grief will get surprised by a love they didn’t see coming.  I’ve not only witnessed such love. I’ve interviewed it.  I’ve put it on television.  I’ve watched it change the world.

I more than believe in it.  I long to become it.  To wed my spirit to its balm, its way of healing not merely the soul it touches but the souls who stand anywere near and watch.

Despair can become a voice, a whisper in your quiet times, trying with primal might to pull you into a tangle of believing only the worst.  If you hear such a voice, do not believe it.  Don’t let its dischord bleed you of your hope.

But do not hesitate to live among thorns.  Someone near to you now walks around with a wound you can’t see.  Find a way to place the hand of your heart upon that wound.  In this way of life, we all find our way.

Socrates said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”   The beauty of fully living is this — the harder you swing at clearing the wilderness for someone else, the fewer the thorns in your own backside.  And, yes, you’ll find there’s someone near, willing to pull yours out for you!

Let us battle the thorns of this wildnerness life together — believing in the hope of human arms, slung together, winning the war.   

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