What I saw on the highway

APATHY…HOPELESS… A few weeks ago I was in the car on the way to church and I noticed some graffiti along the highway. These are two of the words I caught. But there were more, all about the same. And I’m sure if you’ve seen any graffiti you know it’s usually depressing, or downright vulgar, occasionally you get the artistic words that don’t make any sense but whoever painted them seems to think they’re better than cuss words and negativity. What’s interesting is that only a short time after noting those words, I read somewhere (I believe it was another blog) that graffiti can tell us what young people are thinking nowadays.

I’m not sure how true that is, but certainly some angry teens are trying to tell us something. I have known moments where I felt life proclaiming to the world what I was feeling, not because the world could help me, but because I wanted someone to know and to notice.

In retrospect, I know that I had a lack of communication skills as a younger teen. And that it was because I had trust issues. ( We call it cynicism when it’s adults.) Plenty of lonely teens and kids are asking “Who hears? Who cares?” And I still ask those questions sometimes, but now when I ask I have the answer. Doubt is not the question, doubt  is having the answer and then questioning that.

We exist to be loved, and all of us know it deep down. When we feel unloved and don’t know why, we may think we’ve missed it somehow. That at some point in time either we made the wrong move, or someone just decided we  weren’t worth their time, or we were left behind by mistake; and eventually we conclude it is too late, better find something else to live for.

But what else is there? People do everything they do out of love, or need. And they are happy accordingly. It is terribly sad that there are young people out there who feel so unloved that they tell us all that apathy is the way to live, and life is hopeless. I’m not saying it is right or wrong to spray paint on the highway, I’m asking why.

I’ve wondered a lot why no one ever asked me why I was the way I was as an early teen. I think they probably just didn’t know what to ask, And my past is in the past, I’ve moved on. But I didn’t do it on my own. It took a lot of prayer, and I don’t mean the repetitive, religious prayer, but the kind where the tears are streaming and you feel like you’re being crushed under the weight of your pain. (Ever been there?) It sounds bad, and it certainly felt bad, but when you come to grips with your pain, it’s a huge relief.

I’m going to close this with a word of encouragement to anyone who can relate to what I’ve shared. There is hope. Apathy is never the answer because apathy is it’s own kind of hurt. it is better to face the real hurt and get healed. God can do that for you, or other people can help you. But it’s all a matter of opening up. And if there’s no one at all to turn to that’s when I’ve always found God to be my help.

I think that’s enough for all of us for one post–until next time, Natasha

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