In the 2011 movie October Baby, a local Mobile, Alabama police officer shares his wife’s saying: “To be human is to be beautifully flawed.” Hannah, (not me but shares my namesake and some similarities) the recipient of this wisdom, understands being human means being flawed- physically, mentally, emotionally, developmentally, etc. As the Jesuits or Society or Jesus like to say: “life is a journey.” How many of us make it through life without flaws, imperfections, scars, or brokenness? No one I know. Certainly not myself. For many of us these “flaws” or imperfections seem ordained and despite ourselves. What now?
Even Christ in the Gospels experienced suffering, death, loss, pain, and grief. But Christ also experienced profound life, love, joy, hope, and faith. Being human means experiencing both. I know moments when I experience the deepest compassion is in the midst of the worst suffering. Peace and calmness rise in the midst of death and dying. Or the simplest awareness of joy and life in the midst of uncertainty. Sometimes the nitty gritty develops, shapes, challenges, and forms us by fire, but on the other-side, we could gleam with the luminescence of a divine love forged in pure trust, mercy, and abandonment. But each of us are faced with a choice to embrace our crosses and help our neighbors or not. Some days are easier than others. But one thing is for certain we all have are beautiful flaws or brokenness. Some types are hidden to others. For those that hide their brokenness, like me, a term invisibilities or “invisibilities” can describe many forms of mental, physical, and emotional health conditions that make day-to-day living extreme to challenging.
I understand and desire confidentiality. Not everyone needs to know everything, every little detail. I’m not one to overexpose myself or my loved ones. For a person that suffers is fundamentally vulnerable on various levels. I fear being taken advantage, trod-upon, misunderstood, and ostracized. But I fear less each day . . . Thank you to all with, especially the youth and young adults, invisible and visible disabilities for your silent, steadfast testimony. You keep the world afloat and filled with hope and light! We are beautifully flawed and broken, but undeniably valuable and treasured in the sight of Heaven and those of Goodwill on Earth!