Friday, February 6, 2015

Inside Out

When we visit Hannah at the university she attends and lives during the school year, we travel a serpentine road up through the mountains and I can say it is the prettiest part of the trip.  I like the way the sun leaks through the tops of trees.  I like the smell of the crisp air.  I like the s turns, feeling a little like Matt Kenseth on the NASCAR circuit.

Along the way as we begin the assent up the mountain, there is a rundown, ratty, wooden house that at first, we thought was an abandoned shack.  I mean, it looked absolutely and totally inhospitable and uninhabitable.  In fact, to this day, I still don’t know where the road is to get to that house.  We look for that house each and every time we make the trip. 

One trip we were shocked, stunned really, to see clothes hanging from a clothesline strung along the front porch and to see smoke coming out of the chimney.  It seems that what looked like an abandoned shack wasn’t abandoned at all.  And, there was a newer pickup truck parked among the weeds on the side of the house.  The rundown, beat up house was incongruent to the new pickup truck.  The clothes hanging on the clothesline looked misplaced. There is a part of me that wants to explore the route to get to that house, knock on the door, and meet the people who live there.  I kind of want to see the inside.

Now, I don’t mean to sound uncharitable and judgmental.  That isn’t my intent.  It’s like the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”  It’s just that the outward appearance is so shocking to think that someone lives there.

At times, I’ve found the reverse to be true.

When my family and I moved to Virginia, we had to go house hunting.  There were some houses that from the outside, we didn’t even bother to see the inside.  There were other houses that looked great, had wonderful curb appeal as they say, but when we saw the inside, we were disappointed.  The outside didn’t match the inside.

Two houses with sort of similar results.  One looking absolutely inhabitable, yet someone lives there, while another looking inviting, yet on the inside, not habitable- at least we couldn’t live there because I’m not handy enough to fix it up and we didn’t have the money to have someone come in to fix it for us.

I’d like you to consider the concept of Inside Out as it applies to people.

I believe, strongly, that what resides in the heart shows itself very clearly in the words and actions of the person.

A person can espouse ugly, sarcastic, and hateful remarks.  A person can denigrate, belittle, and demean.  A person can show indifference, a lack of concern, and ignore the efforts, the pain, the suffering, or even the joy in others.

Or . . .
A person can share beauty and build up instead of tear down.  A person can bring joy, and raise someone up, lift a spirit, and recognize the effort, the pain, the suffering another is mired in.

I contend that in both cases, what resides in the heart shows itself very clearly in a person’s words, expressions, and actions.  For how can it be otherwise?  Human nature is quick to discover the charlatan who speaks one way, but acts another.  We are quick to recognize that perhaps the purpose behind one’s actions might be less than stellar or honest.

So, what is in your heart this day?  Tomorrow?  In your lifetime?  And as you look in the mirror, are you as honest with yourself as you are with others . . . or not?  Do you seek to build up or tear down?  Do you bring one joy or sadness?  Do you reach out a hand to help or do you ignore or discourage?  Because what is in your heart will . . . and does . . . reveal who you are by your words and your actions.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
My third book, the second book of the trilogy, Shattered Lives, will be heading to the editor on February 16.  People have been asking and I can tell you that it will be available on Amazon either at the end of this month or the beginning of March.  It carries forward the journey that began with the prequel, Taking Lives, and with the first book of the trilogy, Stolen Lives.

The book blurb for Shattered Lives is:
The FBI thought the boys were safe.  So did their parents.  So did the hospital staff.  That is, until people began dying. 

More than a hundred arrest warrants were served and members of the human trafficking ring were arrested, but six dangerous men escaped and go into hiding.  Led by Detective Anthony Dominico, Brett McGovern’s uncle and the man responsible for Brett’s abduction, they vow revenge on those who forced them to run, including his fourteen year old nephew and his family, George Tokay, a fourteen year old Navajo youth, fourteen year old twins Randy and Billy, and their father Jeremy Evans.  These boys, along with four others freed from captivity in Chicago, are in danger and live in fear that at any moment, they could be murdered along with their families.


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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe