Audio Wake – on being Freshly Pressed and going viral

This is the first substantial bit of writing I’ve done in over a week. That’s unusual for me. I have a habit of writing every day. Many days, I only write to myself or to God, but I always write. For more than a week, my brain’s been too cloudy for me to assemble words. My brain is still cloudy, but I’ve grown weary of feeling outside myself, so this becomes my attempt to reaffirm my grasp on whatever excuse I ever had for reality.

If I told you that I sometimes hear with my eyes, would that make any sense to you? You may be more familiar with the sensation than you realize. When you sleep and dream, and there is music in your dream, or when there are other people in your dream, and these people are talking to you, how is it that you hear them? It is not with your ears, and not with your eyes–not exactly, but with some other sort of sight–a sight within your mind. There are days I feel like this sense becomes more heightened in me than it ought to be; even as I’m awake, and I see people scrambling about–moving impossibly fast; it’s as if every noise emitted by their movements and by the millions of words generated from their mouths and from those of their friends–it creates an audio wake, of sorts – a visible wake of sound, everywhere I look. Navigating the world becomes difficult for me, as I struggle to see through the noisy haze. To those unfortunate enough to live with me, I say, “I am dizzy”, but I use that description only as a shortcut, to save myself from the demand for further explanation. So, as I am walking, I may reach out and take hold of a table top, but I don’t do so to steady myself; I do it to remind myself that the table is there.


It’s been twelve days since I published THAT POST. Eleven and a half days since that post caught an express train all around the world, hauling thousands of passengers along for the ride. Nine days since the train finally slowed its pace. Seven days since the WordPress angels Freshly Pressed that post, refueling the express train and sending it around the world a few hundred more times.

For twelve days, I’ve been referred to as “great”, “heroic” and all degrees of “amazing”. I think the word “powerful” even came up at one point. This, for what? Because I knocked on a window. This strange experience has taught me something that I will endeavor to share.
Years ago, I listened to a recording of a sermon, and the preacher talked about good works.
He shared this passage in the Bible from Ephesians: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
I figured at the time that I understood the passage just fine. It seems straight-forward enough. Still, I think few of us get it. I’ve recently experienced what I believe is the embodiment of those words, and I’m still not sure I get it, and here’s why: I’m still anxious. I still wake up in the morning, unsure of what I ought to do with myself that day. If I knew and understood the weight of those words in Ephesians, I think I’d kick this confounded monkey off my back.

A friend of mine (that’s you, J.S.) said when she heard that I’d found a dead girl outside Starbucks, that I did this by being myself. A few days later, when I wrote about this girl, she said I was being myself again. I think my friend might get it, at least a little. “…good works…prepared beforehand…that we should walk in them.” If this is true–if God prepares the works for you, then you gotta be you if you’re going to walk in them. I don’t know about you, but I expend quite a lot of energy trying not to be me. Thankfully, I had my guard down the morning I found Sabrina Collins, because I was willing to be meddlesome so she could be found. Days later, my curious self–my agitated self, perplexed by the lack of attention afforded this dear girl, chose to suffuse my thoughts into something of a revelation–a bright, benefic luminary, fashioned to cast light upon the story of this girl and of her family. The results – beyond me.

It never was about me. It was about God, bringing people together, as he’s so prone to do. If you are looking for “amazing” and “powerful”, don’t look to me. I could never live up to words so big. Look above. Look above, and while you do so, be you, because the world needs you as you are.

From my heart, I thank each person who has shared in this story, and I pray for continued grace and mercy upon Sabrina’s family and friends.

22 replies »

  1. I had a conversation with my husband last night that was about how we keep knowing who each other even when we’re constantly changing in little bits every day. The bottom line was that thoughts and beliefs inside of us are either growing or dying. Nothing ever staying the same. There is an undercurrent in this post that tells me there is either a lot growing happening or a lot of dying within your heart and mind. It makes me curious which one and it makes me wonder if it could be both. That’s what makes your writing “powerful” and I think that’s just you being you.

  2. I know the feeling. I stepped away from writing for a year — from myself and from God. I am just now getting back to who I am meant to be. You are a beautiful writer and I look forward to reading more of God moving through your words.

  3. Lucas, I am touched by your whole experience, not only because I wonder what would I have done if in your place, but what would have been done if I was in Sabrina’s place? I think there a deep wonderment in most of us that hopes that our living matters and that our going will be noticed; that in the clone-like masses we call humanity, we will be missed … that our absence really will create a void for friend and stranger alike. How poignant that even a stranger knows something is lost in Sabrina’s passing from this life. Thanks for all you have so beautifully shared about this experience.

  4. The good deeds don’t have to be big, or noticed by anyone else, in fact as you have found when they come to light it can be embarrassing and people label you and give you characteristics that you would never pin on yourself. You did what comes naturally to you, it has made such a splash because so many of us have forgotten how to be kind and generous with even the little things, smiling, holding doors open, we are so wrapped up in the “busyness” of modern life we rarely recognise these opportunities even when they are right there in front of us.

    A little while ago, I came across an old lady sitting in her car on her drive. She looked distressed so I stopped to ask if she was ok. Her hip had seized up and she couldn’t get out of the car, she had tried to phone her daughter but the battery in her phone had died. She was on the verge of tears when I found her and in a lot of pain, she said about ten people had walked past and not one had stopped though all had stared at her. I helped her out of her car, made sure it was locked and that she got safely into the house, where she said she would ring her daughter, had she wanted me to stay longer I would have done. It didn’t take much effort on my part but she was so grateful to be rescued that it left me smiling for the rest of the day.

    Keep doing what you do because it is right for you and not for the accolades you receive. πŸ™‚

  5. Lucas,

    Sometimes, we do things that we have never experienced and Inadvertently we are thrust into new circles of enlightenment. I doubt you would have left her there on any day, a day you were more like “yourself”. This was an action taken by yourself. It was surely you.
    I would say you are probably “hearing” a new level of energy…it may take some getting used to.

    I loved you post. I am glad you did what you did. The energy rush will die down, though I doubt you will ever be the exact same person you were before. Keep on the path and do what you know is right. All is well.

  6. I would like to re-blog this as a follow up to your other post (which I also re-blogged). Bless you! My friends have been greatly touched by this event and your telling of the story.

  7. Lucas,
    I have always loved the written word, but was taken aback at the shear accuracy and “rawness” that you used to describe your harrowing experience upon finding a young life had been lost and right in front of your very eyes.
    Had this story been untrue, your words would have remained exceptionally on-point and clear in their explanation of feelings that we, as humans, experience.
    To learn that this story is not fiction is even more powerful.
    More than anything, i agree with your answers to folks that your act was a simple one. Although simple, it did surpass the bravery that most can conjure up. Most people cannot forge their way through the fear and self-doubt they experience that tells them not to “do it”.
    I am a registered nurse and I have seen life slip away right in front of me. It is ALWAYS a changing experience. It is difficult to explain in what ways it touches your spirit, and It makes you question so much about your own life and that of all you know.
    Not until you see someone pass away can you truly understand the empty, hollow look that the eyes can hold. There is no more looking deep into their soul.
    In a world where life has gotten “louder”, I appreciate that there are people like you who take the time to really “see” the world, and then do what they know is right…even when it feels so uncomfortable.
    I pray you find peace, as you can never “un-experience” this and also am amazed at your fantastic writing ability that took us all with you on this journey.
    Prayers to the young woman’s family and friends as well.
    Thank you for being there and then writing so eloquently about this incredibly important subject matter.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. It’s been so interesting to hear how many thought this may have been fiction before reading the comments. “Creative non-fiction” has been a growing segment in the writing scene recently. I heard a writer of this genre say recently that her goal is to make the reader feel the way she felt at the time of the events she describes. It seems I know what she meant by that.

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