I had no idea when exactly it had happened. At the age of two, three, or four maybe. The event surfaced during an attempt to discover the roots of the depression which had dogged my heels and darkened my days since my youth. I did not know that the constant tiredness, the gloom, the despair and the weakness, both emotional and physical, were signs of something else, some deep tension which source had never been faced…
Two days ago I lost some money. I had lost money before, of course, among other things, but on that day, things were different. The feelings of despair, sorrow and the physical weakness that swept over me, were far surpassing the reality of the current events.
Looking out through the window, I saw a young fox crouching in the grass. The fact that the fox was young, almost a baby, did something to my soul. I felt tender and somehow dangerously vulnerable. I love animals and I am usually very happy to see one, but no, not this time. Tears ran down my face as I looked at the young fox…I knew it was going to suffer, sooner or later, I knew the poor creature was going to die…only a young fox…a baby…
Yes, the heart of the child within me was weighed down with sorrow. And this time, unlike what I have done for decades, I listened. I listened to my heart. I let the boy speak.
This is a cruel, cold world…
People are cruel. People are cold…
The sobs shook my body. I was that child and I wasn`t going to run anymore.
I don`t belong here. I don`t want to live in this world…
I want to die!!!
The sorrow poured out from me, each sob calling more to the surface. Tears, not shed for decades, now freely rolled down my face. I had been running from my emotions for far too long, I said to myself inwardly, and if God could bring healing to all those other areas, He`d better be able to handle this, because I can`t.
Who hurt you, son?
I listened, wondering about the nature of the question.
Boys…bigger boys around you. Pushing you, mocking you. Mocking a little boy who stands alone in their midst. A little boy who should not have been alone…
I did not know the answer. However, a very familiar feeling began to build up within my chest, causing my jaw to clench in a way I knew only too well. I had only ever clenched my jaw in that way when I have been fighting the tears and the murderous anger, preventing them from coming on the surface. Films in which innocent people suffered, especially children, or even animals. Yes, little, defenseless animals, and little defenseless children – this was what always made me react in that way. Reading a history book where wars or genocides are described in details, watching a program, or hearing some of the heart-breaking stories of the people I work with – my reaction to the suffering of the little ones was always the same – stony face, clenched jaw, and a tight knot in my stomach. And it was only at the age of thirty-one, few years into the journey of the recovering of my true heart, that I was finally ready to face the reality that raged within me. Behind the smile hid a bitter heart that hated humanity and all the harm it did to the world.
What did they do to you, my son? What did those boys do? Do you remember…
Bitter tears. White knuckles. Eyes which would not look away from the carpet bellow. Shame, fear and hatred – murder, lurking deep within the soul that had suddenly become very young.
Son…express it. Tell them now…you could never speak, you could never tell them…because your father was not there. He should have protected you, son. He should have faced them, not you. You were too little, my boy…you were never meant to do this!
As the warm, loving words resounded in the depths of my spirit, I turned to face the opposite wall.
Over and over again, slowly at first.
‘I want to kill you…you bastards!!! I will kill you!!!’
Keep going, son, feel the anger rising within you..let it come, do not suppress it any longer, you can do it now, I am with you!
‘I WILL KILL YOU!!!’
My fist hit the sofa with a loud thud, again and again. Each blow released something in me and it brought new, fresh bursts of murderous, red-hot anger. A new sense of being swept through my body, as if some center of vitality had finally awakened inside me and a new life spread within me. My body, which had been, in a spiritual way, separated from my mind and soul, was finally co-operating, responding to the feeling without being prevented by the mind which always had a reason to block its responses. The fear that I will, again, fail to access my deepest feelings, quickly evaporated as the wave of energy rushed through my body. I was angry! I was alive!
Growing up, I often wondered why I couldn`t seem to be able to get angry when other boys provoked me. I got angry with my mother at home, but in the face of the masculine threat, no trace of anger was found. Fear, shame, and paralysing shock took its place. The fear returned when, later, my mother, or another, ‘weaker’ child did something that upset me, no matter how small. At last, I was beginning to see where the anger was hiding and why I feared other, more ‘manly’ men so much as to never be able to be myself around them. Anger is good, and anger is just, as long as it is the right anger, at the right time. It is that misplace anger which causes so much troubles among us, and its roots often lie in our past where it was right and proper to express it in the face of the injustice we had once faced. The human heart knows good from evil even when we don`t, it knows injustice even when we say it doesn`t matter…
Tell them they are cowards to take advantage of a little boy like that. Tell them to come and try now, when you are bigger and stronger. Come on, son, tell them!
‘You!’ I gasped. ‘You! Why don`t you come and try now, huh???’
My fist smashed into the sofa again and my body jerked forward, my eyes flashing murderously toward the wall beyond which a boy was being mistreated by a group of bullies.
‘Do you hear me, you cowardly bastards!!! Do you wanna try now??? COME ON THEN!!!’
‘I WILL KILL YOU!!’
‘I WILL F…KING KILL YOU, YOU MOTHERF…ERS!’
A beaming, radiant face of a proud father. The face of a God who is too big and too wild to fit any church. A God, feared by religion. An immortal God who was once killed by those who claimed to know Him.
Son! Oh my son! I am so proud of you. I am so proud of you, look at you. You are strong, do you see it now. It was a lie, a lie! Oh. I am so proud of you…
Life. Peace. Joy. And, with only the wilful choice at first, forgiveness. Yes, true forgiveness can only come after facing that which should be forgiven. A heart which is neglected is a heart which is not loved. And, as Pascal said, it has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. It thus becomes disobedient and who can blame it? But a heart which is loved is a heart which is expressed. Love frees. Love heals. Love restores.
There is no love without the heart. There is no god, apart from the God who made the heart.