When I was in high school I was very aware of the many invisible things that could effect a teenager. There were days that I felt I was just going through the motions, but I had hope that one day things would be, different. I was extremely fortunate that I had great friends to distract me. However, I was great at hiding the things that ailed me. I can recall clearly one day in AP History, my teacher asking me if I was OK, that he’d noticed I was looking fragile. I admitted that I had lost weight but I blamed it on my busy schedule, you know all the extra running around. I learned to smile, even though sometimes I wanted to cry. I had broken my relationship with God when my grandparents passed away within months of each other. I questioned how a mighty God could take away our loved ones and put us through trying times. One of the things that also helped was a journal with a good and old friend of mine that shared a similar way of life. You think you’re alone but if you’re lucky you find out you’re not.
I’m reminiscent today because of Daphine Glenn Robinson’s short story, Invisible Girl: The Suicide Journal. Melissa, the owner of the journal, has a different story than mine. We’re both familiar with the screaming, the slamming, the occasional scene of violence and the uncontrollable tears. As I began reading, I had to put it down several times. Its hard, when you think you’ve forgotten a memory, to only hear or read something that brings it rushing back. Once I reminded myself of where I was now, no where near where I was at 15, I couldn’t put the book down. Her story unfolds quickly, and you feel like you’re right there with her. Pleading with her to have faith. Faith that things do get better. But more importantly, faith in God. He never gives us anything we cannot handle. Our hardships are our lessons to share with others. This is what Invisible Girl does.
If I didn’t have that friend in high school, to journal back and forth with, to share my woes; I wish I had read this book then. Out of all the hundreds of books I read in my youth as a child, I wish I had it to read then. Unfortunately the topics of this book are not the casual topics you’d bring up at a party or at the cafeteria table. The topics are raw and leave you feeling unnerved. Nonetheless it is a topic that should be discussed, must be discussed, because it is real. Somewhere someone is experiencing it right now.
These past few weeks I have been teaching Catechism. If we do not see something, does it exist? Yes. This is what we call faith. We believe because of faith. “We can know God in a much deeper way by means of faith. In a much deeper way because in this instance it is God himself who tells us who he is, what he has done, what he has given us, what he promises, what he teaches, what pleases him, what he wants from us. … Through faith God revels himself, allows himself to be known, and manifests himself. Furthermore, God does this because he wants to and because he loves us. God speaks to us in order to tell us what he is like and to tell us how we should be; and since he speaks to us, he tells us his Word, the Word of God.”…Carlos Miguel Buela, Catechism for Youth.
I ask you on this Soulful Sunday to be mindful of your friends. Sometimes they might be going through an ordeal they can’t speak of, either out of fear or because its not something you bring up in casual conversation. All you can do is make sure they know that you are there for them, that you love them and that God loves them to.
The Word of God, yes, on that note I leave you a reading from today’s Holy Mass to let it marinate the rest of the week.
Brothers and Sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to who we must render an account.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
Let it marinate!
PS: To find out more works of Daphine please visit her: