The other night I took a ramble through your mind while you went for a wander through mine. Afterwards we sat in silence for a while, a little in awe, but mostly in shock. What we had seen had floored us both. So unexpected, so ridiculous, so extreme, so brilliant, so stupid, yet so similar to the clutter that filled our own heads. A myriad of thoughts so chaotic, so uncontrollable, so anarchic – bouncing off one another like balls in a pinball machine. As we made faltering attempts to communicate a similar picture emerged. Wishful-thinking tumbleweed had whistled past us frequently as we ventured through the fields of each other’s minds. Empty headed notions that were frankly never going anywhere, along with shadows of fear and spectres of the unknown. There were too many half-forgotten jokes and half remembered songs, and molehills fast becoming mountains. And then the untidy piles of regretful rubble and guilt-ridden debris. There was a huge number of good things too, lively explosions of laughter and ideas and wonder and happy memories.
And as we staggered, reeling through the clutter and maze of it all, we both spotted a man, steering his purposeful course through the detritus. Weaving his way through the discarded ambitions, the potholes of disappointment, and the abandoned burned-out notions. A son who seemed to know his way well enough. Not much fazed by what he saw. From time to time he stopped at the various clutches of litter. He bent over each one and seemed to be examining them, I guessed he was scrutinising the disappointment and failure embedded in each item, but as I ventured closer I saw something else. He seemed to stab a syringe into each one, extract some dark poison, and then – rather horrifyingly – inject it into himself. Sometimes his hands, sometimes his feet, sometimes his side. And as I moved closer I could see the marks of the injections were leaving a kind of scorched scar on his hands and feet. The clutter was still there as before, yet each piece seemed somehow diminished after he’d visited it. He worked tirelessly, unhurried, yet intent on attending to each item. And in the trail of his footprints there seemed to be a kind of light, a dawning of hope that shed its hue across the whole mind field. I’m glad we took that journey, and even more so that we talked afterwards. We were both in the same place, and both being affected by the man with the scars.
Philippians 4 v 6-7, Romans 12 v 2