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Subject a witness...do not say anything unkind to anyone even in humor
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Original Message Sometimes humor, not always, is just meanness. Remember Our Lord, you can offer in prayer any unkindness said to you, to Jesus. He can use them to save souls.

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ECHOES OF THE CLOWNS

Some people have asked me, how can I write these writings? What is it that fills my heart, my mind, my soul? What is there, about me, that regulates my deep feelings, deep inside, that makes me what I am? Who am I, who write these words, that tug at your heart? What is this spark, this ingredient, that makes it happen? What is this special something, that makes words fall onto paper, that makes you think and probe your heart? What do I know about compassion, love, and tears? I open my heart, to you, to see inside, the echoes, these words of the heart.

It was, about twenty years ago, but I remember it, all of it, like it was just yesterday. I write about these true events in my life, not for reasons you may think, but, for what life really is. I never mentioned these events to anyone, till now.

I was about 40 years old, my children, about 13 and 10. My wife and I had gotten tickets to the circus at the Hartford Civic Center. This nationally known 3 ring circus was an event my children were overly excited about. Our seats were next to an opening, where the performers came into the arena and exited. This was a great day, such anticipation and excitement, the thrill of the circus. I was sitting at the end of the row, my children in the middle, and then my wife. It is here during the performance, a clown steps from the shadows on stilts, and stands next to me, waiting to go on. The clown is all costumed up in pretty attire. He is standing there, staring at me, at my side profile, and loud enough that I could hear him, he said, "With that long nose, you don't need any makeup." I turned and looked at him, when he broke into a huge laughing face and went into the arena amongst all the people making them laugh, all, but one. I just thought to myself, what an awful thing to say. This was "the greatest show on earth?" What an awful thing to say, to anyone. You must understand, I have a long, huge, hook nose. All my life I have been laughed at, stared at, been made fun of, because of this stigma on my face, this long nose, that I can not hide. And yet, this clown, was a wolf in sheep's clothing, a someone who is supposed to make people feel good, and laugh, and forget who they are. This clown, made me feel, like I had an ugly cancerous tumor on my face. That day, this clown burned a hole in my heart, a big one.

What do I know about compassion? From grade school to an adult, insults have fallen on me; and in these times, you cry the tears inside, and smile on the outside, unable to lash out. It is amazing, how many people are wolves hiding in sheep's clothing. How easy it is for them, to be so cruel, deliberately hurting someone, to demean and degrade people, to make insulting remarks which are sweet and rewarding to themselves. I have endured this ridicule throughout my life and these are the daggers to the heart.

Some people have said to me, You're too sensitive You need to laugh, at yourself Accept who you are It's only in fun. Sensitive? Yes. You call me: Pinocchio, Jimmy Durante, Eaglebeak, Schnozzle, Rudolph, Beaker, The Nose. Laugh at myself? Sure, and I laugh, with you. Accept who I am? I do, but some won't let me forget, that my features are offensive, and considered funny. Only in fun? This, is never fun. Wear my face, and feel, the inner pain, of humiliation; EVERYDAY!!! Do you know what it is, to FEEL embarrassed, in a crowd of people, because, of what your face looks like? Even in my own family, there was one, who in the presence of other family members, laughed loudly in my face, and said; "Varrick"; Why don't you get your nose fixed? When you speak of uncompassionate people, I certainly have met many of them. I only write here, of three, of the many echoes of the past.

My friends, these words I write, are not just words on paper, but the tear drops of my heart and soul. They are an accumulation of deep sorrows, creating an inner compassionate sensitivity of great love, for Our Lord's Passion and Death, and the sorrowful tears of Our Blessed Mother; because, I, understand what it feels like, inside, to anguish, because of those who hurt you, and hate you; and that having "love" in my heart, is the greatest gift of grace; and that forgiveness is never an option, but is a constant presence, for this spiritual grace has filled a void of emptiness and rejection. What I have experienced is a spiritual river of internal growth, an understanding, that some of us suffer more than others, and carry a cross that is beneficial to our soul. Our journey is not painless, but of inflictions and struggles, which help bring us closer to Our Lord. It is this painful road, that molds our journey to heaven.

It is in 1994, at the age of 55, I finally have courage to have surgery on my nose. After I developed breathing problems through my nose in my later years. Surgery was something I did not look forward to, but after many years of indecision, I decided to have it done. As I write this, nearing my 61st birthday, my nose surgery did alter my appearance, but the results were far from successful. The breathing through my nose is more obstructed and restricted, and I now have a large lump on one side of my nose. My eyeglasses hide the lump, but it is a reminder of what I still am. The clowns have moved along, and the insults are gone; but here I tell you, I truly understand the meaning and feeling of inner compassion, and that people who are wolves, hide in sheeps's clothing to feed off others. They are the clowns, that find it laughable, to hurt people, to be so rude, and don't care about the outcome.

I was able to take action to escape my dilemma; but there are those who hurt, everyday, somewhere, someplace, brokenhearted and abused, unable to escape their entrapment. I have written these words not to highlight my own abuse; but to call your attention through my experience to educate, and enlighten you as to the inner pain and suffering of the retarded, unattractive, maimed, paralytics, elderly, sick, homeless, gays, blind, uneducated, unskilled, terminal ill, alone, depressed, mentally ill, unloved, abandoned, obese, diseased, those suffering due to prejudice, religion, birth defect, color, race, appearance, height, and looks. These are the innocent victims of the clowns, who reach out to be loved and embraced, but instead are humiliated and abused. They are not judged by their talents or skills, or what they can contribute; but their outer shell is the target of clowns' laughter, the unseen daggers to the heart.

As a young teenager, I was working a summer job on a local tobacco farm. This one day I was having my lunch inside the bus which brought some of us to work. There were two of us here, having lunch, myself, and a black man, named Morgan. A group of about six youths gathered outside the bus and started to harass Morgan. They were shouting, calling him names, laughing; then started to throw objects through the open windows. As I sat there, my heart reached out for this man, as a tomato came splattering inside and then another, and some garbage. I could see this man's rage intensify, as he picked up the items and threw them outside the window. He never said a word; a shout; a curse word; nothing! He didn't even try to chase them away. Finally, one of the owners of the farm came by and yelled at the youths to leave the man alone. Morgan and I looked at each other, unable to say a word. We finished out the day, and went home. Morgan never came back; I never saw him again. I carry this man in my heart everyday, and feel his presence inside. I wish I would have had the courage to help Morgan when he met his clowns, but I was silent and scared. I still hear the echoes, inside of me, saying how sorry I was; Morgan, never got to hear my words.

My friends, I have brought you indelibly into my heart, to answer your questions, to inform and help inspire you to help those, that endure such despair. They are in my heart, all of them.

It is this road of the cross, the heart of compassion, the tears, that I know about. I was fortunate to have my cross of abuse lifted from me; but I now carry crosses for others, because I know, they also have met my clowns. They have been thrown into the center ring of a circus; after the laughter, they are alone, in tears of inner torment, and emptiness, as the hurtful echoes of the clowns, make their exit.


Robert Varrick

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