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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

You Scream..I Scream

You scream...I scream.. We all scream for ice cream? We got the screaming part down; unfortunately, we missed out on the ice cream.

When things get heated at Hope Street there is always the threat of someone’s face being “bashed in.” I’m not always sure exactly what that means, but I am sure I don’t want to witness it. What I imagine is a distortion of sorts - the undoing of what is to the point of non-recognition. What I am wondering is if our screaming does the same thing?

Do our voices being heard deter us from looking into the eyes of the human being across from us? Do faces matter?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and reading about what it means to be known. There is the surface level, or the safe version, of ourselves that most people know or can figure out from our Facebook or Instagram page. There’s the friendship level, where if someone catches you on a bad day you will share why. Then the deep level - this is where only your bestie, spouse or close loved one may be allowed to enter into. It’s the place where your dreams and aspirations dwell, but also your regrets and failures. It’s the deep level where the reality of our wretchedness and belovedness clash, and we want to know the answer to - if you really knew me..would you still love me?

Known. Accepted and cherished. Broken but truly treasured.

While most of that description has to do with internal acceptance, the part I see that is broken on 26th and Capitol is the external. All too often the outside has been distorted by drugs, abuse, poor choices and disease. The outside attempts to say it all about someone’s inside.

It’s why the bashing in of the face is one more blow to our ability of being known. It erases another opportunity for us to be seen, cherished and accepted.

As I sat in my office Monday I honestly wavered between joining in on the screaming, or crying. I saw chests puff up, hands flying and heard obscenities ringing in my ear. It would have been easy to enter into the mess until I looked down at the beautiful brown eyed two year old watching all of the commotion.

Her face screaming: See me! I am right here, please see me. I looked into her eyes and realized those are the same eyes with a few more years added to them in the women screaming. Both “children” (someone’s child) who desperately long to be loved. If only they could recall the truth that they are the beloved.

I saw Nyla’s face, than her mama Jamie, and then Amanda and remembered until we have faces - the mess around us will keep us from learning how to walk with one another through the mess inside of us.

We can scream.

We can bash faces in.


We can pray for the day we intentionally acknowledge and cherish the faces in our lives.

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