Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Posted on 8/6 from my old site

It’s amazing how much more real life is as it happens around us. The things we see and hear, the expressions of the people as they pass on by, the masks they wear. So often I wonder what truths lie behind these masks.

How many of them are facing an insurmountable storm? How many of them are being pelted by droplets of rain so powerful it stings, drawing blood? How many can’t hear anything more than the howl of the wind as it buffets them mercilessly?

Each is on a ship in a sense, life an endless sea and the storm, the troubles that it brings. I can’t help but wonder with each passing face, how many have a lighthouse to guide them to the shore? I can’t help but wonder how many more have no guide at all.

Some of the ships I see in this endless ocean are large, solid and proud. Their horns blaring loudly telling their position, daring others to cross over into their wake. But as large and proud as they may be, their holds are empty and hollow. They are all bluster, using their great size and strength to project a presence and confidence they lack.

They are loud because they need to be, they need others to see them, they need others so that they can be recognized and valued. The saddest truth is that while these great ships can easily navigate the storms life throws their way, they are unprepared for the icebergs that lie just beneath the surface.

Once struck, their bluster melts, their confidence buckles and soon their bulkheads take on water. The waves that were once so helpless are now fast overtaking them. In minutes they are drug under, snared by the currents in the depths, vanishing from sight. It’s sad, but these giants are just one of many types.

Some ships are small, struggling against the waves, fighting to keep from crashing against the rocks along the short. Others are mid-sized, forced to drop anchor to wait it out. The course for them is clear, yet they are stuck and unable to move forward. The lighthouse beckons but they are too scared to pull anchor and stay the course.

We all move through life, braving the storms it tosses at us. Sometimes the waves seem so huge that we are terrified of being overtaken and drug under. The storm could be a difficult homelife, a sudden tragedy, our jobs or an impossible boss.

Whatever we’re facing, whatever mask we’re wearing to hide it from the world, we have to remember that we aren’t alone. I believe we experience these hard times to make them tools we can use to help others. To be like a tugboat, guiding ships safely into their home port.

Personally I’m so use to being independent, I hate relying on other people and always try to solve problems head on. The hard part comes when the problem is too big for me. I keep trying to handle it on my own. I end up feeling like asking for help is a weakness and a failing on my part.

The thing is, storms are moments, they pass, even the worst ones will eventually dissipate. It would be callous of me to say it so flippantly about anyone whose been abused, beaten or worse. Situations like that are truly horrible to have to endure. But even in the worst of it, help is out there. We just have to find the courage to ask.

I think that we tend to isolate ourselves when we struggle, we put on the face that everyone expects of us. We believe the lie that no one understands our pain or that we’re the only one dealing with it. Chances are someone has already been in our shoes and experienced what we are going through. Again, we just need to find the courage to reach out.


Matt Brown

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