I look into her eyes and see the skies of a broken world. A world, torn and cracked, broken beyond repair. And suddenly I find myself there; I’m this broken world in her eyes.
“Hello.” A young girl’s voice surprises me. I look and see her, standing there. Inhabiting a broken world? Perhaps not so broken after all.
“I am your guide, in this world.” She continues. “Follow me.”
So I follow. We trek through wastelands and mountains and valleys. Mountains taller than Everest, and valleys deeper than Marianas. The girl, sure-footed, never breaks pace. I struggle to keep up. Finally, after what seems like days, we stop on solid ground.
“Where are we?” I wonder aloud. The girl looks me in the eye.
“We’re in the middle. The center of her world.”
I look and see smooth land for what seems like miles. It’s flourishing; it’s beautiful.
“How can something so broken have such a beautiful center?”
The girl shakes her head. “On the outside, things always look different than how they really are. A broken world is massive, yes, but then larger will its center be. Some centers are broken, do not doubt that. But oftentimes you find broken centers in the center of smooth worlds.”
“Why do they not match, center to outside and outside to center?”
“Broken people hide their cracks, for they are ashamed. They think no one can help them, and no one is the same. But those with centers smooth and fair? Similar to pearls, they are, shaped by sea and air.”
“So people are like oysters, then? Those with pearls go through hardship, and their outsides get torn up. But those without, they feel ashamed. They smooth their outsides and pretend and lie, corrupting their insides even more.”
“Truth has made you wiser, but never imagine you are the wisest. There is always someone wiser, and pride will corrupt your pearl. So when you see a broken world in someone’s lonely eyes, invite them in your life – for their outer shame is nothing compared to the treasure that’s inside.”
I nodded to the girl, who nodded to me back. I know I’ve learned a lot today. The girl then takes my hand. “Follow me – I’ll lead you back.”
And we head back to the exposed world, broken as it is. Her surefootedness extends to me, this second time back. Much sooner we arrive, at the entrance point. The girl looks into my eyes; no words need to be said.
And although I’m still looking into eyes, these now host a broken world. I realize I am out, and this girl is not my guide. So again, I look into her eyes. I still see the skies of a broken world. A world, torn and cracked, broken beyond repair. But now I can catch a glimpse of her heart, her center made of pearl. I smile, and she smiles back. I wonder, did she see my world?