We have all been moved deeply by the recent story of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped at age eleven and held captive for eighteen years. The years of separation from the rest of the world outside the home of her kidnapper will take added years of therapy to deal with.
Her two daughters, who, until now thought she was their big sister, have never been to school and have only known life in a hidden compound. If anything, their pain and confusion will be even more difficult to heal.
None of us are surprised at the immensity of the damage they have incurred and our hearts are broken at the painful journey they are on. Let's not lose sight, though, of a deep truth which blares at us through this story: people need each other!
We are fallen, broken, often-selfish, angry, moody human beings. And we need each other. That's because we can also be kind, considerate, serving, and friendly. We can offer a listening ear or a cryable shoulder. We can learn how to navigate the storms and sail the beautiful seas of life by spending time with others. Therefore, we know...we KNOW that life without such contact and interaction is unhealthy. So we recoil when we hear about people who have been removed from it.
But what if the person is held hostage by their own choice to live inwardly and shut out the world? What if, for reasons of insecurity, lack of trust or simply a bad attitude someone locks their soul into their own little private, secretive compound? We can no longer blame some dastardly culprit. But can we deny that the damage is just as real?
That's why "Messies" need others. And that's why the Church needs people who are willing, even hoping to hang out with messed-up people. It's because sometimes a broken, inward person gets low enough to look for a way out. And the pain is great enough that the woman or man is willing to take a huge risk and poke their head out of the shell.
That can be where miracles begin.