Thursday, April 19, 2007

Teach me how to listen

The part of the story in Virginia that is hitting home the most to me is that troubled young man and how he simply had no tools to get beyond his demons. He was an extreme case, to be sure. Yet, one detail CNN uncovered touches me. He had an affinity for a song by Collective Soul called Shine—apparently he even wrote the words on his dorm wall.

Here are the lyrics:

Collective Soul

Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell what will I find ( will I find )

Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find ( will I find )

Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)

Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to go
Tell me will love be there ( love be there )

Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there ( love be there )

Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)

I'm going to let it shine (x2)

Heaven's little light gonna shine on me
Yea yea heaven's little light gonna shine on me
It's gonna shine, shine on me
It's gonna shine, come on in shine

One of his teachers said in another report that it made sense that he was an English major because speaking was difficult for him. Writing was the only way he could communicate, if you could call it that.

My heart, strangely, goes out to him as I hear these details. In small ways throughout my life, I’ve known the frustration of not being heard, of being marginalized, of being passed over. In my case I had the tools and the friendships to help me through those times. In his case, apparently, he had nothing, or at least nothing he could accept.

It’s making me yearn again to help others find their voices. To help them articulate and express the uniqueness that is entirely theirs. To help them fill their role in creation as a beam of light, rather than feeling trapped in the darkness of the disenfranchised.

I need to listen more. If anyone wants to talk, I’m here.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
Email this posting to a friend with the envelope icon below.


At 4/19/2007 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Thank you so much for this insightful post. It deeply moves me.

At 4/19/2007 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis R. said...

Sometimes even when someone wants to listen they can't hear what you are trying to say.

"Lord, give me ears to hear and eyes to see. Help me to understand and to love as You love."

At 4/19/2007 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Laura...this is a very beautiful and powerful post...songs speak to each of us in ways that reach so deeply...I am so grateful this dear boy had a song he could hang on to...

you are a great freind...and a good listener...
love, Kate

At 4/19/2007 04:43:00 PM, Anonymous Marc said...


This is a needed perspective and so glad you blogged it today especially after the playing and replaying if this young man's tapes. Your blog today gave me pause and something to ponder. I think 'trapped in darkness" is an appropriate phrase. This young man had to be in such torment and darkness where he thought the only release from it was to do what he did. Hopefully the families and the nation will at some point see that foregiveness will release him and them.

At 4/20/2007 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Laura - so moving! I find that my prayers have been mostly for this young man and his family. And for others that may be feeling as he seemed to have felt - lost, alone, angry, etc. I know there is hope for anyone, truly, and pray they can find it and that somehow I'll be listening to be responsive to those needs as God wants me to be. Much love. b


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home