It appeared in my mail box one week. I though it must be a fluke. Then the next week, and the week after. I asked my daughter if she knew why... she looked at me with a smile as I held it out like it was on fire. She knows how I feel about it. Her friends know, my family knows. A waste of precious time, energy and one more thing to help me achieve the shallow life I aspire to.
Every week they come and every week I cringe at those People.
How can this be a weekly magazine?
The time spent looking at someone else's life, while yours is passing by the window you sit beside.
I think of the people in my life, the people with problems bigger than my imagination on my darkest day. The young son in a nearby community murdered as he worked at a pizza place. The mama on the news reel, sobbing this loss of her most precious boy.
The cancers that ravish young people, no respecter of age.
The people who live a stones throw from me, without hope, many wondering how they will feed their children tonight.
The church I serve alongside, grasping to give hope to the youth of the community. Searching, praying, loving a group of people who have lost hope.
Some have never known hope, from babies they have felt loss, betrayal, fear.
Unlike my kids... who were told they could be anything they dreamed, if they worked hard.
Parents working three jobs to feed these children, others who have left... because their hope had run out. Isn't hope eternal, offered to all?
Tell that to a girl who has been abused, bullied and thrown out.
She talks hard, loud and is criticized by those who don't understand where she comes from. You know that line about walking in another persons shoes. Lets practice that here.
Grace is the word, not judgment.
And then People shows up again... and I should care that Renee looks different, that Princess Kate is feeling better, that what's his name finally got married. These people, they matter... yes, a thousand times, yes. But not because of who they are, but because they have a soul and are a child of God, like you and me.
The problem with People is that is takes us away from the people we should be ministering to. The people in our community, down the street, the ones with no hope.
Do you know what hopelessness looks like?
It is the one thing we cannot live without.
Hope is what meets us at the edge of quitting, swallowing those pills, cutting our wrists, selling ourselves... and pulls us back.
If we are without hope, we believe the dark lie and we swallow the pills.
No one cares, no one loves you, you don't matter, no one will even miss you.
There is nothing darker than hopelessness.
The people we can offer hope, through a kind word, a shared meal, an opportunity. These are the people Jesus asks us to read about.
Not the People that show up in my mailbox. The ones we follow, worship, talk about. Smh... the idea makes me sick to my stomach.
I'm sorry if this offends you... but I'm offended that we are so shallow that we have bought into this lie. I hate it.
The people I can touch, hear words spoken through turned down mouths. Their stories, their loss, their crushed hopes and dreams. These are the people I want to read about... in the future. Where people stepped up, stepped in, came along side and offered hope.
Before you judge me critical, overbearing and finger pointing... let me point the first finger.
This post took form in a medical office, discussing options for removing the brown spots on my face.
You see, I don't need any extra help being shallow.
I seem to have it covered all on my own.
I think I'll keep the brown spots to remind me of this truth.
What do you struggle with that society keeps throwing in your face?
How do you face it and make a difference?