Figured out a title for this blog. It might seem like a simple task. It wasn’t. Titles are like labels, we take them at our peril. Here’s the story behind the title.
It took a long time for my life to get to the point it is now. I was a person that society would deem worthless. My skeletons and monsters are not the same as who I am defending here. I was an addict. I was a person that felt abandoned. Mine was self imposed. I made choices, unlike those I defend. I mean, I had a choice in the matter. Those I defend do not. My path led me to forget my childhood faith. I did not believe in Heaven, but did believe in Hell. Hell was easy. I could localize it. It lived inside my own body. The details of how I regained my faith are not important. It is enough to say that one day the Prodigal Son walked the Damascus Road.
In the years since that happened, I’ve married and become far more tolerant. I wish there was a better word than “tolerant”. It is not my place to “tolerate” someone with a different path than mine. “Accept” is a better word. “Love” is a better word. “Hug” is also a better word. “Embrace”, “carry”, “lift up”, and “reach out to” are also words that work. Very many people tried those with me. My problem was that I would not allow them to. I rejected every advance until I wanted nothing more than to be dead. That was my fault, not theirs. I digress.
Here’s the story of the stones and how it applies. When the People of Israel crossed over into Israel, they set a monument, the Stones, in the middle of the Jordan River. Then the waters of the Jordan covered up the stones. We all have those monuments inside ourselves. We know where they are, as God does with those stones. They are not for others to see. They are the markers we have set in our souls. They are what we can look back on when we need to find strength. They are a place where we know that our path is fixed at a place and time. They are also a place we can never go back to because the river has covered it. We need those stones in our lives. Without them we are lost.
Sure, this blog is for someone else. This blog is also for me. The only difference is that some of my stones are visible for a time. Again, I do not equate who I was and what I did with anyone else’s struggle. My difficulties are my own creation. Others are given no choice. What we also do not have as common ground is that society forgives me. Society does not forgive or forget others. That makes no sense to me. Why should my choice to be self destructive be forgiven when something someone has no choice in be stigmatized. Why should people be denied basic human freedoms? Perhaps I’ll understand, someday. In the mean time, I’ll keep planting stones.