‘It is the ordinary people, Your Majesty, who would most readily give their lives in defense of your kingdom. It is just that being ‘ordinary’ they would rather be asked and not told.’ Oliver Cromwell addresses the King of England, in the movie Cromwell. I have just had three teenage girls staying with me. Each one has her own unique story of struggle and victory. Each carries her own scars, some more private than others. I loved how each evening they would burst into the house and excitedly tell me all that had happened during the day; they were doing Fusion’s Foundations course. Listening to their chatter got me thinking again about a number of things. Watching them vie for my attention, to be heard and attended to, reminded me of the fight that we all go through to find our space in this world where we are seen and valued – at least I know I have. I think for some of us the fight never ends.
I recently ran into the pain of being seen as a commodity and not as a person. What was interesting for me to observe, was the rising anxiety and fear within me that bubbled to the surface in anger. When I know that you see me or at least that you want to see and know who I am, I feel safer. I think there is a sense in which I can assume that you realize I have a heart that carries dreams and pains and that I am not yet all I was made to be, but its coming. However when I feel like you see me as less than that, and I am just a rag to plug the gap in your wall, I fear that those things most precious to me that even I cannot yet name, will surely suffer harm and even die. In that moment I will resist you fiercely. However, if on the other hand you do see me you will find that I will willingly fight by your side to the end.
There were times this week when the girls fought fiercely, each one violently protecting their ground against the enemy. It often seemed petty, but over the week I have grown to suspect that for one in particular the fight was for her soul. I think she feared that if she didn’t resist with all her might, she would disappear in the fog of other people’s agendas and be lost forever. This morning I had a quiet word with this one’s adversary, and it was lovely to watch – when given the space to choose for herself without fear of loss, she pulled through, like I knew she would.
There is something about being asked and not told that tells us that we are human and we are precious; and we find that we are capable of transcending our own brokenness.