Growing up in my family, scars were cool. So when I got large ones plastered across my body, I wasn’t very self-conscious about them. Although many happened years ago, to this day, I still get tickled when I hear people worry over a wound that might leave a permanent mark. I have enough for a whole family and they really don’t bother me much at all. What I have realized though is that you can’t get as close to death as many times as I have and expect only a flesh wound. While I have many visible scars, what remains over the damage of my heart is still the most sensitive spot of them all. Unfortunately, these are hidden and I hardly know they are there until someone or thing rubs them the wrong way. Knowing that my main sensitivity stems from metaphoric damage to my insides, I must be aware that when giving my heart away to others that they may and probably will see the old internal trauma.
This week, my tenderness was exposed. I didn’t get mad when the person leaned in the wrong way, I simply drew back and away. The confusing result for the person who accidentally touched a nerve was hardly fair considering they in no way could have foreseen the delicacy of the overall topic. While this person was absolutely precious in begging for forgiveness, it is me who owes out the apology. What was said is far from something that should have bothered me to the point of withdrawing. Even though I didn’t leave this person in confusion more than an evening, the evening was enough to bring fear that they had permanently lost our friendship.
Learning how to love others is best taught through Christ’s demonstration on the cross. In the same way He gave His life, I need to give my heart. Whether or not it is in the perfect shape or condition, I should never cease to extend myself to others. My reservations are not out of perfect love, but out of fear over further damage. From this experience, may I learn to trust the Lord and give freely from where I’ve reserved. May I respond without self-preservation and always sacrifice what is necessary.
For God has not given us the spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
1st Timothy 1:7