The Darkest Valley


“Nobody is perfect!” These are the words uttered by a lot of people, whenever they are haunted by their past mistakes, or pricked in their conscience after indulging in an act they in hindsight regret. But as modest as this may sound, it’s a statement of defeat that keeps us from attaining our ultimate goal of perfection. We all want to become the best version of ourselves, perfect in all our ways. Even people who consider themselves to be imperfectionists—those who openly talk about and falsely embrace their numerous flaws, failed attempts to be good and the absurdity of perfection—have, like all of us, an innate desire to be the best version of themselves: to rid themselves of every bit of emptiness they feel within.

Everybody wants to be loved. At the end of the day, that’s what a lot of the decisions we take—meaningful or not—boil down to: being loved. In a desperate effort to be filled with love, many people indulge in acts they would rather not indulge in. These people are never understood, and if you think about it, they don’t need to tell the whole world what drives them…they, however, leave us with a little clue: every human being yearns to be loved and to be happy.

We all yearn to be loved, however, those who have been through the darkest valleys of life—abused, bullied, maltreated, deeply heartbroken, harassed in various ways and more—are in a greater need of it, and in their “love pursuit”, they end up indulging in acts that attract high levels of dislike, judgement and condemnation from others.

One thing we must all bear in mind is that, no matter how nefarious we think a person is, he or she yearns to be loved as much as we all yearn to be loved. Man does a lot of harmful things to himself and to others, whenever he is filled with hatred among other negative emotions; most of which are deeply rooted in poverty or in a desperate quest to flee from it. The bondage of poverty drives and has driven myriads of people, to indulge in a farrago of dark acts in the hopes of gaining an illusion of freedom—this is in know way, a way of justifying any of our noxious and unethical acts. It is knowledge, and with it, we will be able to treat others better, in order that they too will not be lured by hatred to do his bidding. Poverty! Its goal is to bring people to their knees—filled with hatred, jealousy, envy, depression and more: to bring people to the very point where they are unable to resist the grip of the evil one. Poverty! It begs to remain because, without him, the evil one would become powerless.

Just one act of love is what it takes to set a person free: a smile, a beautiful gesture of love…the little things that make people say, “somebody has noticed me, somebody really cares about me.” You know, you can preach the mightiest sermon, but if you have no love for your congregation, everything you say will fall on deaf ears. People have become very sensitive to hatred and would easily cut off ties with others, whenever they are treated unfairly: teased, bullied, insulted, looked down upon, vilified. People have built high walls to protect them from outside threats, and have formed strong friendship bonds with people who accept them for who they are.

Many a times, we are scared to love others because we are paranoid: we feel that the condemned and ignored will hurt us when we approach them. We feel the thieves will rob us, the witches will curse or do us harm and the adulterers will lure us into their chambers. We are scared and as a result, we hate the very people God loves and wants to love through us. It takes radical renewal of the mind, to see people how God sees them. We also need boldness and His wisdom—His Spirit—to tell them what He wants to tell them.

Everyone has made mistakes before. And what’s worse is when a person withdraws from others because he/she feels that he/she is perceived by others as a disgusting sinner. When we are all alone, lamenting over our sins and the people who have shunned us, we tend to become enraged, depressed…we turn vindictive. Surrounded by demons, our minds are flooded with tasks that can only be achieved after we’ve been empowered by the ones tasked to destroy us. Their goal is to steal, kill and destroy, and in our depressed state, everything they say kind of makes sense to us: everything seems like a solution, a way out of our depressive chains. But later on, after we get back to our senses, we realize that the very ones attempting to set us free, were indeed luring us into a deeper, darker pool of destruction. Thank God for Jesus, for no matter how low a person falls, no matter how many chains bind him, no matter how dark one’s past is, His love and power can set that person free, should that person simply and sincerely ask for His Grace (His overcoming power).

But you know, asking Jesus for help is just one thing. Forgiving others, and letting go of the weights that fuel our bondage is another. It’s easy to receive His Grace, sustaining it is another; walking in Love means actively countering any thoughts that will cause us to hate people. We will always have those thoughts and a logical reason to hate someone, but I have come to realize that in the end, hatred takes us back to square one: in bondage to the same forces that once enslaved us. Whereas hatred enslaves us, Love liberates us from and demolishes all forms of evil. All we need is boldness and His wisdom to walk in it.

There are many things you would learn about life, if you have ever lived one of loneliness. This is especially when you look back through God’s eyes. A trip to an alma mater, or a birth place may leave a bad taste in your mouth. You may recall some painful memories and your lonely days…but, if you really think about it, in that loneliness, knowledge was acquired. In those moments of deep thought and via epiphanies, people learn a lot of things that only make sense later on in life. The lonely days end when we realize that life isn’t all about us; when we realize that we were placed on this earth for something much big than the experiences that left us feeling lonely. We were created to love God and others. And all we need is Him, God, to empower us.

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