If there is one show I have ever watched that sets my thoughts to whirling it would be “Hoarding Buried Alive”. The show takes you on a journey into the lives of people who for one reason or another begin collecting things to the point that their homes are over-stuffed, dangerously unhealthy, and impassable. Each story is unique in that the emotional event that triggered their needs to accumulate vary from one person to the next, but each of them can trace back their need of clutter to an emotional void or pain.
As the show plays out, you are introduced to both the Hoarder(s) and the people in their lives who love them. It is because of the people in their lives who love them that the Hoarder is then exposed to their “blind spot” of over-collecting, and then given an opportunity for help. You will see children of parents pleading with their parents to get help to change the way they live because the conditions in their home are so dangerous, and unhealthy. There are tears shed by the pleading, and excuses or angry outbursts from the “offender” as they come to grips with their lifestyle and choices. The drama is real as it digs into the reasoning, emotions, will, and self-esteem of the one who is trapped in their habit.
It is interesting to me that the people who love the Hoarder want to see them free from this addiction. Their love doesn’t say “Well, as long as they are happy, that’s what really matters.” Those who love, demonstrate it in care that takes a very painful course for both them and the one they confront. They see the need of their loved one being buried in a lifestyle that has the potential to kill them in some cases as the houses are collapsing around them, and they are motivated to confront them. This confrontation is not always received well. At the expense of great misunderstanding, the One Who Cares will plead their case over and over in as many ways as possible, with as many examples as they can fashion in order to prove to the Hoarder their intentions are to love them and see them well. Professionals are then brought into the picture who counsel and serve as mediators for the Hoarder and the One Who Cares.
Another note of interest is that the love of the One Who Cares, is not dependent on whether or not the Hoarder changes their ways; but because they love the Hoarder, they earnestly desire, and will go to any expense to see the Hoarder helped. The behavior of the One Who Cares goes beyond “kindness” in that it doesn’t stay “polite”, but risks all. Sometimes you will see the Hoarder lash out angrily with harsh, cutting words to the One Who Cares, and the tears begin flowing. You watch the pain on the faces of both and it rips your heart apart. The Hoarder afraid to change, and the One Who Cares, is completely out on a limb that threatens to be cut off.
The resolve of the show comes (in many cases) when you see the Hoarder recognize their pit, and receive help. You see the difficult work of change, and letting go. You cry with them and celebrate with them. You celebrate with the One Who Cares because their sacrificial efforts pay off in hope and help for the one they love. It can be noted that the journey for the Hoarder will be long and difficult, but you are relieved and full of hope for their recovery.
Isn’t that what love does? Doesn’t love have a fierce desire to see another one well? Doesn’t love fight to overcome the things that threaten to bury or destroy another? Doesn’t love refuse to let a person suffer in a prison if there is a way to break them out?
Why can’t love just be “kind” and live and let live? Because love takes a vested interest in the object of its passion. Love will sacrifice and give until the needs of their loved ones are met. Love will bind itself to another and make their well-being the priority of their life. It will risk being misunderstood, betrayed, threatened, and disregarded. It will suffer the judgements of being to “harsh” or uncaring if, by its actions, can save someone from a dangerous fate.
Would a God of love be anything less? Would a good God allow you and I to live however we wanted to just as long as we were “happy” at the end of the day? Would a God who sees the end from the beginning be right to not interfere in the life of someone trapped and buried in a lifestyle that will kill them? Would God be an idiot for sacrificing all and giving infinitely to see a life rescued?
You might say you don’t want to serve a jealous God who had to kill His own Son to save mankind–that whole idea assaults your senses. What you cannot see is the pit you are burying yourself in that requires a jealousy and fierce devotion and sacrifice to pull you from. Anything less would not be love. The One Who Cares will always march the front lines on your behalf. If you dare to look, you will see His wounds, and His arms still outstretched to rescue you.
3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.