Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tender Like Him

Several months ago I walked into a drug store in our area and saw a woman at the counter who was dressed to impress. I realize right away that I knew her but I could not remember where we had met. There is still a little of the former insecurity left in me-- so honestly, I just wanted to avoided the reintroductions and move on.
What makes matters like this even worse is a heart that is very tired and tender. You just never know what someone will say that will poke at the tenderness..... and then the fight begins to contain the emotions.

So being the social bee that I am not...I walked the long way around. :)
I know, you have never done the same. ;)
But, I am learning from the behind view--that is, looking back on the situation now---- that God was about to teach me something that would make sense much later.

As I got ready to go to the counter to check out.....the woman turned around and of course she saw me AND remembered my name. Don't ya just hate that?
So I stood there and smiled and wondered if I looked as old and harried as I felt. And as a gracious southern gal.....I acknowledge her greeting.
Following these reintroductions I was reminded that we knew each other from two places.....one the Christian school our boys had attended and two I had been the manager at the Country club she belonged too .
She really was a sweet person and she couldn't help that she was just naturally beautiful. :)
So we started in on the conversation I wanted to avoid and then it began to go where I did not want it to go....our sons. Hers was doing great in school and would be graduating and going off to college on a sports scholarship. Life was good and they were so proud of their boys. Then came the question.....
Well, how is Michael doing??????? What is he up to? Where will he be going to college?

I wish I could freeze frame this section and take it in slow motion....because that is exactly what I felt as my mind began to scramble for an answer to her questions. I felt like time had stopped and I was about to answer her question over the store microphone.
I don't remember my exact response.....but I do remember the Holy Spirit stepping up to the plate and reminding me that I needed to represent Him in a godly way.
In other words....Don't run and don't lie. ;)
So, I told her that Michael was not sure what he was going to do yet..... I was truthful.

So why share this with you?
Well, I wanted to share what God has been teaching me and
because after looking back over the things that I have been allowed to go through........I hurt for the woman who felt like she had been cornered. I feel bad that she felt shame and embarrassment for the things she could not correct or do anything about.

And I wonder if I have without thought or mean intent treated other women as that woman treated me that day in the drug store.
Here is my point.
I believe that when Jesus approached people He approached them looking for their greatest need. Many times their pain or suffering got in the way of them receiving His message. He wanted them to leave His presence knowing that they were important and loved.
He listened and watched for the area of their lives to be exposed so that He could touch the darkness and bring a glimmer of hope to their hearts.
He just loved them at their greatest point of need and they were healed.

There are so many women out there who are hurting and lonely. They may look well put together on the outside or they may look like someone who needs to be put together.....but they all need the touch of God in their lives.
We are here to offer that touch.
I guess I just want to offer this little thought to think about.
I know that we all have areas where we are proud of the things that God has done.
Our children are perhaps healthy, happy and making good grades. Our husbands are experiencing success and our marriage is doing good.
But, the next time we see someone who we have not seen in awhile........or maybe someone who is a new introduction.......could we take a second to think about what may be going on behind closed doors? Maybe something that they are not willing to talk about to someone who appears to have it all together.
I know that God allowed that situation in the drug store for a reason.
For one....... it revealed the pride in my heart. That has to go.
And now it makes my heart tender toward others who are walking painful paths.
Maybe I should have opened up and told her what was going on. I could have shared some of the lessons God was teaching Keith and I. Maybe she was not as put together as she appeared.
Could it be that because I was not willing to look--"un put together"---that I missed an opportunity to give God glory even in the mess?
I don't know....but I so want to be His heart here on this earth.
We can be that......I know that as ya'll share your lives with me....I hear His voice.
Others can see Him in your lives. Yes, even in lives that do not look all put together perfectly.

I pray that we will walk the tender walk He walked.
Lets not be afraid to share our scars with the world.......they need to know that He still heals.

Thanks again for listening.
And remember.....your scars are beautiful when placed in His hands.


Halfmoon Girl said...

mmmm, good thoughts here. We just don't know what is going on in other's hearts. The people who we put on pedestals have the same problems we do, maybe just in different areas. It is important to be real with each other.

Denise said...

Bless you sweet sis, you so touch my heart. I love you.

Sandi said...

I had a mom from my daughter class when asked how her daughter is doing she would just say "Erin is not at a good place right now." If more was asked her response no matter who asked would be just pray for her.

Tiffany said...

This post and the one before it are so open and tender. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a vulnerable place, even when we know it's for His glory. My breath grew tight in my chest as I read your story. Thank you for being brave enough to share this. You have my support and love in this hard time. I know I am learning a lot from many of you that have children older than I do. ~Blessings!

Rebecca said...

You always bring a tear to my eye. Thanks for sahring your heart and soul the way you do.

Mama said...

This post is beautiful and quite near to my own heart. Praise God for providing you with a supernatural grace to answer the lady in a loving and guiltless way.

I also love the other poster's response, "(S)he is not in a good place right now. Just pray."

This parenting stuff is just plain hard, and we all need to love and support one another.

Thanks for a lovely reminder.

She Rose Up said...

Sharon - I have more times than I care to think on, felt tired, and worn, harried and tender and "gone the long way around" (that is a message ALL by itself!) same as you, I'm bad at remembering names, (good at faces) and well, life is rough at times and seasons...anywho...God has challenged me more and more the last 4 years or so to step out, step up and its because people are ALL walking around in these wounded bubbles and we need each other...everytime I DO step up I am SO glad I did, and it always seems to like strengthen me and bless them...I guess He just made us that way!

I just so could relate to your hesitancy. I know you are a proud mama and any mother would understand that (who is worth her salt!) college is NOT the reason we are proud of our children. We are just because of who they are! Warts, freckles, funny smiles and all!

Wish I could hug you!


SunnySusan said...

What a heart you have my friend..and you constantly share you with us...I feel so unworthy of your friendship most times...I have not been here in such a long time...

I am teaching my daughter that when she sees a fat person that there is usually something going on inside that causes her or him to eat...it is not because she just doesn't want to lose weight...case in point ...me....

I have done that exactly like you did and still that person saw me...I am ususaly alot fatter than the last time I saw them....oh, what a mess we let ourselves in....why not just go up and say I forgot your name and then be done with it....there are even invites that I have said no to because of my weight...it is a pride thing...thru and thru....I am trying to have more of Jesus, less of me in 2008...sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't...not because He does not want that...it is me....all pride again....

Ok I have written a blog enty on your comment section...LOL...I love you Sharon...wonder if we will ever get a real hug in real life.....

concerned parent said...

I have to say that this lesson meant for me too. I walked away and avoided a person not more than a week ago because she looked to put together and I was not in a mood to put on happy face. Repent and move on Ali.

Anonymous said...

I love your huge HEART!! You know we all have seasons whether we want them to show is our choice, but showing how the Lord is walking us THROUGH those seasons is the key to help others... and ourselves heal.

Denise said...

Oh....how beautiful..... We walk such diverse pathways... Each of us learning more of God as we travel. His intent is that when we meet others on that path we are always transparent......We have no idea what the other is struggling with...... I am so guilty of hiding my pain for fear that others will shun me..... I am learning to be an open book....... We need to show Jesus through our pain..... Enjoy your trip and I will look forward to hearing how God spoke…..

Love ya girl!