Cheers to a Life Among Thorns

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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12 Responses to “Cheers to a Life Among Thorns”

  1. jevia lyn robinson Says:

    Great Michael. Jevia Lyn Robinson

  2. Wonderfully brilliant, and a great way to think about being of service and kind and loving to others.
    May we all walk this beautiful path as we clear out each other’s thorns.

  3. Good piece! Well written. It’s quite encouraging to both those that need help and to those that need to help others. Everyone in one way or the other has both something to offer and something that someone else has to offer. Contributing our own quota makes the world a better place or the thorns more bearable. Smiles!

  4. Julie Catherine Says:

    I read this on Ann’s blog post – what a beautiful piece of writing, and very inspiring. I loved this. ~ Julie 🙂

  5. Marshall E. Stephens Says:

    Michael Cogdill,
    I was scrolling through posts on the Link-in network this morning when I came upon your message above. What an engaging and meaningful essay you have penned here! Compared to what you typically have to say/read as an anchorperson, your style and substance in “Thorns” is so unexpectedly lyrical, so thoughtfully uplifting, so thankfully unlimited by the labels of “breaking news” and “exclusive interviews.” Imagine how nice it would be for the audience, and how challenging it would be for your obvious compositional skills, if you were able to express such life-affirming insights in such creative language two or three times per week.

  6. Marshall E. Stephens Says:

    When I mentioned expressing those ideas two or three times per week, I was talking about doing so at some point in your broadcasts, not just in your blogs or other written formats.

  7. Treva Mardis Says:

    Beautifully expressed truth.

  8. […] is ‘throwing a bash for the written word’ and we’re invited. His most recent post, Cheers to a Life Among Thorns echos the My WANA message of service to others. Michael reminds us that “the beauty of fully […]

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