I received quite a few comments and questions about the post from two weeks ago, so today I’m going to “unpack” Going Home.
- What was the muteness/polio symbolism?
The little girl was born with a “handicap” (being mute) and inflicted with one (having polio). I’m sure that most of us have a “handicap”—an impairment or restriction—of some sort. Sometimes those are visible, like the girl’s inability to walk without braces. Like her, we sometimes have a hard time “walking through life” as well. Some inflictions are not at all physically obvious. Like her muteness, many of us have internal pain that, whether it “rarely sees the light of day” or, haunts us every hour, is part of who we are.
- Was she ever loved, and how could she hear, but not speak?
Although loved, she was part of a big family that she always felt distant from because she couldn’t communicate with them in the “typical” way. In her story there were specific situations that caused muteness—she was born with damage to her vocal cords. The fact that she couldn’t “speak their language”, or be involved in many of their other activities, kept her isolated. Like her, even in a crowd, we may feel alone. Even if we can articulate eloquently, we may often feel unheard.
- Did she ever end up speaking?
She was speaking all the time; she simply wasn’t audibly heard. I think most of us have had the experience of not being heard, no matter how loud we talk. Sometimes, we’re using voices that are so meek that they get lost in the noise of life. Sometimes, we use a tone that makes others turn away. And, sometimes it’s simply because we’re choosing the wrong people to talk to.
- What a tragic death.
The little girl did not want to/choose to leave her life. She just wanted to experience something new; to be “like everyone else”. Sometimes we want to abandon our present realities too. In her “drowning”, she was aware that she was going home. She felt safe and at peace. When do we abandon what we know is safe and dip our toes in an unknown pool? In our challenging times, how often do we give into the power of the storm and allow ourselves to be swept away, sucked into the vortex? How often do we choose a living death instead of moving forward with joy?
- Is that what “heaven” looks like?/Wow, what a dramatic shift from her life (on earth) to that in heaven.
There are many different names for the place our spirit energy/soul resides after we leave this planet. Some of it depends on how we understand eternal life. We’re all different, so our understanding of Nirvana and complete connectedness with God will be different. Consider your most blissful reality, one that nurtures the very essence of your being, one that elevates you to your highest level. I believe that’s what awaits you.
- I see myself in the little girl.
I see myself in her too. She is all of us. She is the pain and loneliness we feel when we believe we don’t fit in. She is the braveness in us when we make our way down the rocky coast each day. She is the boldness we own when we decide to take a step into the water—into “uncharted territory”. She is the holiness of us when we sit next to God and are aware of our beautiful truth. She is life, and she is grace in crisis. She is vulnerable and she is strong. She is you and she is me, because we are all part of each other.
- What did the story mean?
The story taps into what many of us experience but never speak of. How often do we feel left out, or wish we fit in, or pray that someone will notice us? How often are we burdened by heavy braces that weigh us down or the inability to share our thoughts and feelings? How often do we feel judged by others based on our appearance or abilities? When, then, do we finally realize we are all alike? This is a story of hope. We learn to lean-in to God. We understand that all of us have our own challenges. And, we realize that we all have value…right where we are.