I took a long dip into the rabbit hole that is violence and torture. That is, I read about it. The story that led me down this deep dark path is simple.
I read of someone’s WhatsApp status update that they had finally read up on one of the world’s worst cases.
Naturally I was curious. ‘What is one of the world’s worst cases?’. And like a professional seller of information they gave me just enough to whet my curiosity. Unable to live with not knowing, I looked it up. (Hooray for the internet). And was hit with the ugliness of humans. One of the pages I read, quoted something along the lines of ‘wait till you see what man can do to a fellow man‘.
And what I read shattered my little happy bubble.
Have you ever read a story that painted a picture so graphic, so sad, so brutal, your hands shook as you read (maybe with rage, maybe with disbelief), your eyes wanted to shut but you wanted to know how the story ends and you just felt chills all over? It was one of these kinds of stories (I won’t share the details here – they are not the kind you want to talk over. But if you are overly curious, like I was, you can search the most tortured person in history)
But I couldn’t shake the image!
Couldn’t shake the shock that such people exist. That their lack of compassion was a defect and they were an anomaly in life. Who wouldn’t think that. When the justice metted out seemed so insignificant compared to the pain caused. Which they were not even apologetic over.
And I despaired over that. Thinking over and over, what’s the purpose of life, what guarantee do we have of safety, where is God in that mess, why can’t there be a wrap up on humans and we get out of this? Of course the person who captioned this case put it in perspective. A bit. Questioned who would dare think there is no devil when men can be driven to such extremes.
So in my search for answers, trying to see if we have had such cases in the recent past, I looked up serial killers (my Google history looks like a prep for Murder 101), starting with Jack the Ripper and then having the list which also led me to a few stories of the unrest in the DRC. I wanted to know what such people think. Truly. Especially when they would never want the same treatment inflicted upon them.
I would call my upbringing pretty sheltered without being prohibitive. Either that, or I was so closely tied to my mother’s strings to want to stray far enough. But sheltered enough that I’d be at wit’s end to find that some people’s opinions differed from mine. Or that some people can justify the wrong things so vocally, so shamelessly.
What goes on outside your window will truly shock you. (And unfortunately for some, it is what goes on in their homes that does the shocking).
Because constant exposure dulls the senses, I was starting to see violence as commonplace, as the norm in this world that is so unhappy. Every news outlet seemed to be exposing more of the vileness that lives among us. But I didn’t want that. All my thoughts were taking on a negative trend, echoing ‘everything is meaningless’.
But sometimes, what goes on outside your window will bring a smile.
To change that, I purposely looked for the good. And I was pleased when all my searches yielded people going out of their way to be kind, to be good, to bless someone else with no tangible reward at hand, to rally groups to help. Brought the verse ‘Seek and you will find’ to mind. Maybe good deeds are not trending on newsfeeds. That doesn’t mean they are not there!
But the pain people suffer, silently most of the time, shook me up a little. Made me want to help, in even the smallest way possible. I found that you can write a letter to human trafficking survivors using this link. It may not seem like much but it goes a long way. And if you can spread a little joy, let nothing stand in the way of that!
And just like that August has come to an end as well. In the hopes of continuing the light tone, please share in the comments one of the best things that happened to you this month…or in the year so far. It is comforting to know that light shines even in the darkness.
Till next time then!