Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Lessons From Hoarders
So. I just watched the latest Hoarders, the Carrie/James episode.
Oh dear. I realize Hoarders isn't for everyone (especially those with a weak stomach), but every week, I'm grateful for it.
Why? It s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s my compassion. Helps me more seriously consider "the why behind the what," chips away at my judgemental tendencies and builds a stronger sense of patience within me for people who express their pain in ugly ways. It reminds me that people will do just about anything to fill that God-shaped hole within their hearts--and also-- when hoarders were harmed in their childhoods (as Carrie was), I always recall this Bible verse:
"It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones." ... Luke 17:2
Oh, with each story of abused children I almost hear the rolling thunder of God's anger--like earthquakes! Just below the surface of the ground, a rumbling, a simmering. And when the seriousness of it all shows up in a physical form as it did with Carrie, harming her own daughter's life also, well, it only reaffirms God's serious stance on this all, when He who condemns both murder and suicide, even, to encourage the millstone thing!
And then with James in this episode, well, he made me cry. The therapist asked James what was the likelihood of him actually using the punching bag, even if he did repair it, and he replied, "Don't take my hope away." Then he began to cry because he was no longer a boxer, no longer a policeman, but an elderly man who can barely walk and whose life has become all about the rusted, broken junk in his yard. His stuff had become his purpose for living, his reason to get out of bed, and now the team would be hauling it all away.
(The therapist--one of my favorites-- went on to say, "We all need hope," but I kept wishing she would apologize for the chiding way she addressed his inability to ever use the punching bag again. Oh our voice tone! How familiar I am with that--often I get busted about using the wrong one. Anyway, perhaps she apologized off-camera.)
As I said, I watch this show each week in hopes that it's helping me become a more compassionate person, for after all, God said without love we are nothing--just noise. And how tragic, indeed, to live upon this planet for 60, 70, or 80 years, yet be remembered as just a lot of irritating, condemning, mind-numbing noise.
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing." ... 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick." ... Proverbs 13:12