See the sky like a sea rolling with crescent waves crash into the dawn of day. Aurora's tide making the darkness flee. See the puffy islands of white float like buoys in a no-wake zone emerge behind the curtains of night. See the winged fish swimming through waters with ease chasing one another in schools, excitement for life brimming. See the metal monsters - winged, roaring leviathans who lurk in the sky's deep who roams, constantly wanders. See the hungry shark with razor teeth chomp on desires of the heart. Set on selfish destruction swimming in the depths beneath. Justin Farley
As I was driving down the road the other day and came to a stoplight, my eyes fell upon a young woman begging on the side of the road. I must admit that often times I am quick to judge out of pride or wonder why they are too lazy to pick themselves up and get a job or get help for their addiction. Often times I put the blame on their shoulders and often times it may be. But that woman’s image flooded my heart with sympathy – her head was hung low, and it was clear that she was ashamed of herself and her situation. I found myself wanting to write her story…and not just hers, but for all those struggling in the world without a voice.
It is easy to judge, but much harder to place ourselves in the shoes of another. We all have issues we wish to keep hidden in the safety of our hearts and minds. And what we often times attribute to our strength, our character, or our success has nothing to do with our actions, but only the grace of God.
What would your life look like without loving parents, a loving spouse, a warm and safe home; without teachers, mentors, and other positive influences? What would your life look like if you were abused as a child, afraid of going home after school, or knowing there wouldn’t be anyone there to ask you how your day was or help you with your homework? What would your life look like without someone to help you through college, without an employer who was willing to take a chance on a young intern, without a friend to pick you up all the times you fell? I don’t know, but I think it would do us all a little good to keep our judgments hushed and our hearts open to the stories of the less fortunate people around us.
Life’s Amphitheater – A Poem
Sing a song for the brokenhearted
Whose hopes were snatched away like a thief in the night;
For those who’ve been burnt by the flames of love,
Their hearts charred and scarred no longer with the will to fight.
Sing a song for the prince of pain
Whose sorrows cast shadows upon the skies.
Sing, sing for the once crowned king
Whose tears fall like rain from dismal eyes.
Sing a song for fairy tales lost.
Reality stings like salt on an open wound.
Yesterday’s hours were filled with childhood play.
Oh, how the years pass away much too soon.
Drum a dirge for the divorcee,
Who was ill-equipped to hear the secrets that fell upon their ears.
The soul shatters like sheet of glass
When reality reflects the realization of your deepest fears.
Drum a dirge for dying dreams
That have been abandoned for monetary pursuits.
To live a life never meant for our hearts
Is is pull up your essence and chop it off at the roots.
Drum a dirge for the desolate and deserted
Who hobble hopelessly, begging on downtown streets.
Do not be quick to judge a stranger
Until you pick up their bags and take a ride in their seat.
Belt out a ballad for the afflicted,
For the addicted, and for the anxious minds.
Have sympathy for the struggle you might not understand,
For we each carry a story we wish to leave behind.
Belt out a ballad for the sick and suffering;
Share their tale of sadness and woe.
A kind smile and gentle hand is often the only demand
To make somber faces delight and glow.
Belt out a ballad for the fatherless,
Familyless, and utterly alone
Whose story goes untold, lost
Sinking to the bottom of life’s ocean like a heavy stone.
Have pity on the less fortunate people
Whose notes resound throughout life’s amphitheater.
We are all apart of one beating force,
One united, cosmic voice; one rhyme, one rhythm, one meter.
-Poem and Content Written by Justin Farley
I once believed I was a wallflower,
A seed sown in an empty field,
Thinking thoughts and speaking in tongues
No one could understand,
A circus clown performing to a crowd of empty seats,
Alienated. Ostracized. Alone.
But the more I observe the human condition,
The more I see that no one is spared from its constraints.
The fact that among so many people we can feel so isolated,
So misunderstood, and believe we’re the only person
In the history of the world who feels this way,
Is the great paradox of our time.
But that’s what it means to be human.
You enter into this world alone
And you will leave it alone.
You spend the time in the middle trying to convince yourself
That we’re in this together – and we are
It just never feels that way.
We each deal with the human longing differently,
But we all know what it is.
The human experience – pain, suffering, being misunderstood, feeling lost.
And that’s the real mystery isn’t it?
Just how do we deal with the inevitable hardships of life?
You can find volumes full of answers,
But you’d struggle to find one that makes life any easier.
The important thing to realize is that there are others
Who have gone through the same trials you’re going through,
Feeling the exact same pain, and there are others
Who can look you in the eye and tell you, “I understand”
And mean it.
They may not be standing next to you,
But they’re out there struggling and searching just as hard as you.
When I used to look out into a crowd,
I’d see strangers, animals I neither related to nor understood.
But now I see brothers and sisters, all connected
Whether white, black, brown, red, yellow, man, woman, young, old, rich, poor.
We are all apart of the human race,
And that’s enough to reach out a helping hand.
Because everyone, whether publicly or privately, are engaged
In a battle within their hearts and minds
And need compassion and care.