I like to think of myself as a tough kid. I usually don’t let too much get to me.
There’s a quote in the movie A League of Their Own that is kind of my philosophy. Right fielder Evelyn Gardner makes a bad play, and Jimmy Dugan calls her on it, making her cry.
He yells at her, “Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”
I’m a HUGE baseball fan. If there’s no crying in baseball, there will be no crying. Period.
I’m pretty good at keeping it in. There are very few people who have ever seen my tears. But sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes my frustrations come out when I least expect it.
Sometimes they show up in my dreams. Recently I had nightmares all night. I don’t know why or what I dreamed about. All I can tell you is I woke up incredibly angry with Justin Bieber.
I don’t even know the poor boy. I’ve just heard his name. But he became my scapegoat. Rage against Justin Bieber. Oh, I didn’t do anything about it. I just pictured his face whenever I felt like screaming.
Weird? I agree. But, hey, but if Justin Bieber were the first thing that popped in your head after a night of unsettling bad dreams, you might feel a little rage toward the boy too.
I am so ashamed.
I try my best to keep a sunshine positive attitude. After all, it’s my choice. I can be happy. Or not.
But everywhere I’ve turned in the past three weeks, I have felt little darts. You know what I’m talking about. Snarky comments, hateful attitudes, hateful remarks, criticism, condescending suggestions, and the looks. Oh, how I despise the looks.
And even when I’m trying to do what’s right, I end up doing saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing and falling prey to the darts again, each time more aggressively.
Pop, pop, pop.
You know what I’m talking about. You’ve felt them too. But if you’re like me, you may not even know where they’re coming from, but you know it when you’re hit. You just don’t know who your enemy is.
When he hunts, he climbs a tree, eyes an unsuspecting monkey, takes a dart from his quiver, dips it into poison, inserts the dart into the blowgun, and then blows. The dart imbeds itself in the monkey’s flesh.
Pop. Dead monkey. Just like that. Monkey doesn’t even see it coming.
None of the other monkeys in the colony even notice their monkey friend is gone. They just go on, doing their monkey business. Ever felt like one of those targeted monkeys?
The thing is these monkeys don’t die immediately. They drop to the ground and run away to isolate themselves. Then they die. It usually takes a while for the poison to take effect.
Isn’t that what happens when we take a hit emotionally? We feel the immediate sting. We try to dismiss it, but then we let it get under our skin, and the poison takes effect.
We become just one more casualty in the ongoing spiritual warfare.
It gets worse. Want to know what the poison’s made of? Frog juice, actually the alkaloid poisons in the frog’s skin. The poison leaves the victims unable to move, their muscles paralyzed. Eventually the victims die of heart failure.
Wow. So let’s see if you are following my little analogy. Note the steps.
Enemy uses his vessel to project poison into unsuspecting victims. Victims become paralyzed with broken hearts. Victims die.
Wow. The native’s poison darts and the enemy’s cruel words are both deadly.
But there is a bright side, though there is no current antidote for the toxin of the poison dart frog, there is an antidote for cruel words. Kindness.
I know a lot of you, like me, have had to deal with hurt this week. I’m truly sorry. I wish I could do or say something to make you feel better. A kind word here or there—maybe an email or a gift or a simple chat–can make all the difference. I know.
Just when I’ve least expected it this week, I had someone out of the blue to do something to mend my broken spirit and to make me feel so much better.
So you—if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.
My goal for this upcoming week is to stop thinking about me and to start thinking about others. I will start by making a public apology to Justin Bieber.
Dear Justin, I am very sorry that I targeted you as my scapegoat this week. I’m sure you are a fine young man, and I wish you only the best. Just stay out of my dreams—and my nightmares.
As for everyone else, if there is something I can do for you, let me know. Got a prayer request? Leave me a comment. Send me a message or a text. Call me. Let me know how I can send a blessing your way.
We help ourselves when we focus on others.
Just a side note: Talking about frogs, especially poison dart frogs, has been one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done this week. I hate frogs. When I was five years old, I had a dream that I was riding my hobby horse and a frog reached up, opened its mouth and swallowed my foot. This dream traumatized me. My parents tried to tell me that frogs were too little to eat a human foot. I believed them. THEN, while researching info for this blog, I saw this picture. My parents lied to me. Look at the picture of the frog at the bottom of the blog. THAT frog could swallow the boats of NBA players Yao Ming or Shaquille O’Neal. Now I’ve got that to worry about. *Sigh* Oh well. Pleasant dreams.