This post is a merging of generations – The back story is that while I was holed up this week at my friend Nancy’s, searching through my old journals and writer’s notebooks to find details for the chapters I was working on, I came across the following poem. It was written by me as a twenty something college student. I never shared it with anyone. It has been in a folder for more than two decades. I was afraid to speak out when I saw my friends making poor choices. As I read it I thought about my last post on silence and was again reminded how important it is that we speak the truth in love. Especially to those we see headed down a path of self-destruction.
So, yesterday my niece writes an open letter to Justin Bieber after his most recent shenanigans. It has gone on a mini-viral journey through cyberspace today and I am so proud of this kid. She “gets” something that in college, I did not understand. She spoke up when I did not. She understands the power of words at the tender age of 8. We can all learn something from this. She is not afraid to speak the truth to someone she cares about. (You can read the news articles on the links at the bottom of this post.)
She met me at the door, glassy eyed, glass in hand.
Taking a breath I stepped inside – to no man’s land.
“Happy Holidays!” her voice rang hollow.
She raised her drink and gulped a swallow.
What to say? We’d weathered worse storms.
Or so I thought. She’d always ruffled norms.
Had turned before to Marlboros, Margs and Men.
We sat in semi-silence, then she rose and spoke again.
“I can’t find any answers to the questions in my head.
Can’t kick this scene that drags me down,” she said.
She looked so Vogue, so Virginia Slim…I eyed her enviously.
My mind was weak and wandering, my eyes too blind to see.
What I couldn’t see that night were the chains that bound my friend:
Ignored the signs of broken heart and life beyond her mend.
Yeah, I thought, “She’s half-lit and sort of lengthy winded.”
But I never expected the next day’s news – of how her life she’d ended.
I could’ve helped her break the chains.
If only I’d listened to her pain.
I could’ve been a Christian there,
Instead of surface talking – clothes and hair.
Now it’s too late for “should’ve.”
Hindsight’s the worst way to see.
I could’ve taken her to The Word, John 8 verses thirty-two and three.
“Then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you need help reaching out to someone who’s just putting on a brave face, maybe this song will inspire you: Just Cry by Mandisa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnpwzViqpMY
And now my niece’s piece:
“In an open letter that’s going viral, Serafina, a second-grader at Buckeye Central Elementary in New Washington, Ohio, tells her “idol” that she’s “very disappointed.” The girl’s mother, Ami, told FOX411 that Serafina began crying when she heard her talking about Bieber’s arrest for drunk driving.
So Ami used the opportunity to talk to her daughter about the importance of making good choices in life. Somehow, the mother hopes her daughter’s letter will somehow get through to Bieber.
Read Serafina’s open letter to Bieber here:”
Dear Justin Bieber,
I’m very disappointed. It breaks my heart that you were in jail for just one night. I loved most of your songs. I dance to them a lot! So many things have changed this year. This is the biggest one yet! Why did you do it? Why did you race cars? What made you do it? Didn’t you know it was a bad thing to do?
You had such a great life! I’ve read your books and watched your movies. You had something special. But you gave it up for drugs. My whole life I have been warned about drugs! And now my idol has started taking them! There are many drunk people in the world and you have become one of them. That’s sad to me! I think you should be disappointed in your self. Just take a minute to think about what you did.