Brick by brick.

I can see it in your eyes sometimes, on those rare occasions when you accidentally slip up and let your guard down. Those times when the walls tumble down just for a split second and you show me that you are human. That you are hurting too.

Then comes the terror when you realize you have been vulnerable for a millisecond too long. Then your frantic attempt to rebuild those very same walls that had just fallen moments before.

Pain. Pain. Pain. It cuts deep into your bones. Oh, how excruciating, exhausting, unbearable. The load is too heavy, too hard to hold on your own. Won’t you let me help? Won’t you let me carry some of it? I know Someone who could help. I really do.

No. No one has to see your pain. No one has to see how much you hurt. You don’t need help.

More walls. Brick by brick, you build.

Your words cut deep. You inflict pain on others in attempt to rid yourself of the hurt that you feel.

“Look at that fat, Alyson. You need to go to the gym and work on your legs.”

Unleashing your wrath at anyone and everyone around you.

The feeling of power tastes good on your lips. You’re not on the receiving end this time. That feels good.

But still, you have so much anger when you realize the hurt is still there in your own heart.

Oh, so much pain that you feel.

Brick by brick, you continue to build in vain.

I stand back and watch, helpless.

I wish you knew that being a man doesn’t mean building massive walls to mask feelings. I wish you knew that being a man doesn’t mean belittling others in order to make yourself feel more worthy. I wish you knew that the numbness you feel when you run to drugs and alcohol is temporary, fleeting, and toxic. I wish you knew there is a long-term cure for this hurt. I wish I could take all of the pain you feel away. I wish you knew the joy I feel because of Jesus.

Until then, I watch you build, brick by brick. I watch the pain. And I pray that someday it will all change.


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