The story goes of a couple on a flight home that hit extreme turbulence. The plane tossed and pitched and dropped. Suddenly the young boy seated next to them turned and said “Can you help me? I’m sixteen and this is the first time I’ve flown alone and I’m really struggling with a panic attack right now.”
The Mrs without hesitation said “Hi I’m Mrs and this is Mr and for the next 50 minutes, we’re going to be your best friends. That was so brave of you to tell us what your dealing with! So tell us about your school…”
And so it went-they discovered a common interest in music and chatted the flight away. Because the young man was strong enough to admit weakness/ brave enough to be vulnerable
I’ve been kicking that story around in my head all week. And then my sweet friend Jeanette posted a beautiful poem about rose pruning on her blog. As I read it I saw so much truth and saw so many times when I’ve failed to show Jesus to the vulnerable… (read the entire blog here) but here it is in part:
So it is in life, and sometimes we see
A life that looks bare and bleak
No blooms to charm, no fruit to admire
We deduct that they must be sick.
For surely the Master Gardener
In all of His wisdom grand
Would never have pruned the branches back
With such a heavy hand.
Unless there were some disease inside
That rendered it almost dead.
If it were a healthy bush, would not
He let it grow instead?
So we pass by on the other side
Lest we be infected too.
With the plague we are sure our brother has
When really we have no clue.
Perhaps the fruit in our brother’s life
Is prime for the Master’s use
So He wields the shears with a tender hand
So the fruit will grow more profuse.
But we walk by with our heads held high
Pointing fingers to find the blame
For the things gone wrong in our brother’s life
And murmuring “What a shame.”
Maybe instead, when our brother is down,
We could let him know we care.
Or take his hand and join with him
Intreating our God in prayer.
As we learn and grow together
In wisdom and in years
Let’s not draw back in horror
At the work of the Masters shears.
When all we can see are the thorny stalks
Let’s remember the lovely rose
It has to be pruned, to prepare for June
When that sweet, sweet fragrance flows.
How often do we add pain to the already broken? Why is it that when someone shows up truly hurting that we feel like we have to fix and psychoanalyze what went wrong-when all we are called to do is to share Christ’s love, mercy, and grace.
On the other side of the coin-Where is the balance between being vulnerable and sharing too much info (oh dear, here comes that sad row again🥴)
Oh God forgive us-for throwing stones when the weight of sorrow and shame already feels too much to carry; for painting unrealistic pictures of perfect unapproachable lives when the reality is-there’s pain within us all; for completely missing chances to walk beside the hurting helping carry their load and show them Jesus.
I have no answers. Only conviction.
Ease someone’s pain today, show them you care.
My recent travels have contained a fair amount of variety 🙂 It feels good to be on the road again.
Mother Natures best April Fool’s Joke- snow squalls the entire day.
I’d hoped that the lack of crowds at the Cherry Blossoms would make parking easier on my way home from an early morning airport run… no such luck.
And finally… Easter morning Sunrise. Christ is RISEN! So thankful that no matter how heavy the pain is, or how bad we fail- His Mercies are new every morning. Great is His Faithfulness. ❤️