I am the messenger….

About a year ago, I read an amazing book called “The Messenger” by a very talented Australian author called Markus Zusak. It changed me….good books can do that. I gave a copy to a friend last night because some of the things he has been saying made me think that this is a book he needs to read; maybe it’s a book you need to read too.

A few times a year, there are people who knock on our front door to deliver a message. I’ll give you a hint: they always arrive in pairs, they dress very smartly and, in my case, they usually either have a Canadian or Irish accent….to be sure. They have something they are sure I need to hear, a message they feel compelled to deliver- all I feel is compelled to slam the door (which I’ve never actually done, though I have developed a great line that sends them packing…) because whatever it is they are saying, whatever they are ‘selling’, it doesn’t look all that attractive to me. Most of the time they look dour and serious and like they are under compulsion, like my life depends on my accepting what they have to say…or at least a pamphlet about it.I don’t want to knock the people. They have to be sincere to face the ridicule and possible aggression of the strangers on whose doors they knock. They are sincere and it’s nice to think that someone cares enough about my soul to want to go out of their way to tell me about it…but do they? And do I want what they have? If it makes me look like that, and by ‘that’ I mean the look that is a perfect cross between “What is quantum physics about anyway?” and serious constipation?

What “The Messenger” taught me is this: I am not the messenger. My job is not to deliver some mystical message that, with enough clever arguments or catchy cliche’s, will convince people of the truth of what I have to say, will change their lives and make everything better. I have no message. I AM THE MESAGE.

They said that I’d end up in a mental institution, and that was before I wanted to kill myself. I should really be there, but I’m not, I’m happy and I love life. I don’t need to sell you anything. I don’t need to convert you to anything. I don’t need to convince you of anything.If you stop long enough to get to know me, you’ll find out why. If you look closely enough, you will see the handwriting on the pages of my life and you’ll know for yourself. I’m not perfect, but I’m open. Read me if you can….

“I stand before it, heart beating in my chest, sweaty palms, shaking hands. This book so old it’s ancient, its cover battered, worn and faded- bearing the marks of its journey through many hands.
Extending trembling fingers toward its once blood-red cover I pause. Am I worthy of its secrets? Will its mysteries leap unbidden from those unseen pages? Can I learn the truth I so desperately seek?
I touch it and turn the page. There is no epiphany. There are nothing but unreadable symbols scrawled across the paper, locked from me in the sweat-stained pages, thumbed on every corner.
I know there should be something here, I was told there would be. Others have come searching here- I can tell by the absence of dust, of mildew or the smell of neglect. Others have come and I followed but there are no answers for me here.
The rustling of my search has faded, the fanning pages kiss my face with a farewell breeze…and then I see it-the handwriting in the corner and a name, and I know the book is me.”

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