A few days ago, a guy at my school killed himself. It’s breaking my heart to see my people, my fellow students and friends, dying on the inside with no one seeming to care. These thoughts were inspired by and are dedicated to Zach Holland and the UMM school community.
So many people I see are dying in a very real way. It’s a slow, gradual death that comes painfully and quietly. Like cancer, it can be easy to miss unless you’re looking for it, even in your own life.
~ Dying ~
Dying feels like this: wishing somebody wanted you. Wishing someone could understand you, and actually cared to listen long enough to do so. Starving for someone to tell you, “you matter, Avery, and I love you.” Not just to tell you, though—anyone can say it—but to know that what they said is true.
Dying feels like this: a loneliness and terror of other people because you so desperately need someone to tell you you’re okay. And dying isn’t socially acceptable, so either you finish the job or you put on a mask and pretend like you aren’t dying.
~ Walking Past You ~
Some people are fooled, some see through the mask and walk past you anyways, and others are so preoccupied with their dying that they don’t have energy to care about yours.
Yet still others see you, recognize a dying person, and do something about it.
I know because I’ve lived as each of those people. I’ve been fooled by masks, I’ve ignored dying people, I’ve been preoccupied with my own desperation, and only sometimes I’ve had the gut to do something about it.
I’m sorry—I’ve ignored you for far too long. I’ve been so preoccupied with myself that I’ve walked past dying people who I might literally never have the opportunity to see again. I’m so sorry for being more afraid of people than I have been motivated to throw out a life-line to you. That’s not my right.
~ Together ~
Don’t try to justify me for me. Don’t say it’s okay just because I’ve had my own stuff to deal with. That says somehow I’m more important than other people, and that is not true.
Your life is just as important as mine, as important as anyone else’s. Why should I favor mine?
This is why we need to do this together. I can’t ignore my life, but that doesn’t mean my life is the only one I can think about. And I would challenge you to start thinking that way too.
~ You Can’t Fix Me ~
Like you and I, there are other people who need to know they are not alone. There are people who need to experience being wanted by someone. The problem is, you can’t give me what I’m looking for, and I can’t give you what you’re looking for.
Yes, there is an incredible camaraderie when you build a genuine friendship with someone, but even then, they cannot possibly always be there for you. They cannot always love you, want you, and affirm you in the ways that you feel a need for. Heck, people die, and then what? What do you do when your best friend leaves you even when they didn’t want to?
This is why knowing who Jesus is and what he’s like is so important. I recognize that you may not believe that he is who he claimed to be, or even that there is a God. And I need to share this with you anyways, so please, listen.
My “argument” for my belief system is not about heaven and hell. It’s not about being afraid of a cosmic being enraged at tiny, ant-like humans.
It’s honestly just about a friendship. It’s about a relationship with someone who always, always cares about me, who knows me better than I know myself, and who is always with me.
~ Onto Something ~
Without coming across as arrogant or pretentious, I want to say this: I think I’m onto something. Honestly, I’ve spent so much time not being okay with talking about what I believe, because I’m afraid of all the people that think I’m crazy for it.
And honestly, I don’t want to care anymore. If I’m right and I am onto something, it’s something that no one can afford me to keep quiet about. It’s literally a matter of life and death, of living alone and unwanted versus living as someone who matters to someone else. If I am right, not sharing about this friendship that I’ve found means I’m depriving others of a peace and security and joy that they might never otherwise encounter.
I need to start sharing about this person. His name is Jesus, and he’s way different than the corny religious idiot that so many people (even Christians) make him out to be. He’s my friend, and because of him, I am no longer alone. I am wanted. I am someone, because of him.
You and I are very much alike. I want to be someone. You want to be someone. I’m not some Christian interested in preaching stuffy dogma to “those sinners”. I’m a person who, like you, is desperate to know I’m someone, and I need to share my progress in this story because I know you’re just as desperate as I am.