words that pierce.
by Misty Dawn
i’m not talking about the attacks that feel like knifes in your flesh.
and i’m not talking about those hurtful, unkind, and so unnecessary words.
i’m talking about the kind of words that pierce the soul so deep, and so fast.
the kind of words that open a door in the mind to a common reality.
words that have no chance of ever being forgotten.
words that pierce.
with a smile she greeted me as i showed up on the doorstep of a woman i love.
i’d driven a few hours to see her.
a place out of the way.
with the intent to surprise,
and the intent to deliver joy.
i love her smile.
not everyone likes surprise visits.
i know she does.
there’s hugs, twinkles in the eye, and light but deep laughter for a few moments.
and then we settle.
and instantly she wonders and asks, “why are you here?”
because I wanted to see you, i answer so naively.
and instantly she wants to know why.
her confusion lends to a quick agitation and her demeanor stifles the laughter that just filled our entire space.
i’m quick to assume.
and too quick to pass judgement.
can’t i just come over and love on you without any drama?
why make my attempt to deliver joy so awkward?
i don’t say it.
but i feel it deeply.
my desire for those who are prone to shut out laughter and welcome division openly, to pursue peace. to see the beautiful. to enjoy the exchange.
she asks so fast,
why am i there?
she wants to know.
and without any grace at all i protest, “can’t i just come to enjoy some time with you?
and just as quickly as she turned our initial laughter to tension, she turned my annoyance to deep compassion.
with words that pierced.
she said she’s just not used to anyone wanting to spend time with her.
and i was flooded.
with compassion, i was flooded.
with gratitude for my life, i was flooded.
with sorrow for her reality, i was flooded.
i knew in that instant the depth of her loneliness.
i saw how the light, but deep, laughter quickly caused her uneasiness.
i broke at the reality that laughter could ever make someone uneasy.
yet it can.
and it does for some.
and then and there i realized how the disunity she is always creating stems not from a heart that welcomes division, but a heart that just doesn’t feel welcome.
i saw her differently.
i ached for her reality.
and i rejoiced for mine.
i was overcome by the truth that hugs are a thing of abundance in my life.
that hugs and light, but deep laughter, are as normal as the sunrising each day.
but her reality,
her confusion of why anyone would want to be with her,
magnified for me the truth of how very common her uneasiness really was.
my eyes were so widely opened to the broken, hurting, joy-stifling, “divisive” “types.”
i’d become so used to sincere, and deep love,
so immersed in honest laughter,
shared at no one’s expense,
so surrounded by those pursuing peace, and beautiful exchanges,
that I had forgotten what it even felt like to not have that.
and i had not had that.
and i ached for her.
and i rejoiced.
i rejoiced in a life that’s been redeemed from a very real pit.
her pain initially offended me.
but now i see more clearly.
might we all see more clearly the reality of what those around us really need.
might kindness not be so strange.