Personal Opinions

Letter to Two Readers

Dearest Readers, to whom I confess…

I think that I’ve been burned too many times.

Today, I sit farther away from class than I expected to ever feel, with pages and textbooks so very distant from me. We don’t use them too often, and we don’t really need them, but there is something today that feels off. I don’t feel like I should feel off, I feel like I should feel the day moving forward. Everything should feel nice and peaceful. But it just doesn’t feel right.

I think somethings gotten to me.

I want there to be peace, and a sense of restoration in the world. Moreover, I want to feel the inhale and exhale that creates a moment of space for me. I want to feel like I have more than a day to breathe and take things in. I want to not feel the pain that comes from knowing that you can be intentionally hurt. I want people to be aware and trust in the intelligence of others. I want to be trustworthy, I want to feel like I can trust others.

I think I’ve been burned too much.

Friends feel less authentic to the already tender touch. I have become more numb than I ever expected to be over the course of a few weeks because I think that because life happens. Because people make drastic and significant decisions. Because, as a child I learned that the stove was a bit too hot to touch after one too many burns, and now I fear getting near the stove with my bare hand. I’m guarded, but now I think I’m too guarded. But I think that I’m too vulnerable too.

I think that I’m still on fire.

Dearest hurt reader, whoever you are, hear me. When someone sets you on fire, when someone burns you with their actions, you are to turn the other cheek. But, be weary- God willing the phrase “But, be weary” doesn’t become part of anyone’s vocabulary- of the truth. You only have two cheeks, and you can only turn them a few times before you’re just being abused. The question I have for you is how long are you willing to be burned? How many slaps are you willing to take before you’re praying for Christ’s kiss? When will you speak up and say, “hey, stop hitting me”?

But Dear Spectating Reader, can you hear me? I think its beautiful that you’ve made it this far. The reality is you have seen me or my brothers and sisters and mothers and friends scream at our oppressors for millennia. You know their names. You let them into our hearts. But how long is too long? How long will you sit idly by and watch them slap us? How long will you hear the words, “stop, please don’t” and continue to allow them to go. You see, you have ears to hear the screams. You listen but you do nothing. I fear that this is you, dear reader.

I fear you are inactive. A spectator and commentator, but never a true protectorate.

If this is you, reader, take your mask off and let people see that you are the deaf abuser as well. You don’t hear the words, rather you pantomime them back at the weak and victimized, reminding them of their fate. You are a part of the fire that is constantly raised to the hand of the child that sat in the kitchen one June night. Reader let them see you. Confess your sin at the alter and sin no more in the way that you have before.

But, reader, if this is not you, than praise and accolades are still out of reach. For you listen and must still act. You must hear the cries of the people who sit nearest to the fire, like myself, and you must do more than protect. You must empathize or sympathize or process or feel. Reader, you must feel the need to act from within yourself. For if you pretend that the fire is nearest to your brother, and you change yourself to reflect the will of the man who actually hears, you are but another masquerading falsehood. You must feel, reader.

Feel something.

Thank you for your ear.


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