Monday, May 6, 2013

Hugging Porcupines

Now, I know what you are thinking...
Why would I do that?
Hug a Porcupine?
 
The truth is,
We all have porcupines in our lives.
 
I have porcupines in my life...
they come in different shapes and sizes
but none the less, they are porcupines.
 
People I care about,
even love
that at times cause me pain
 
Not physical pain
heart pain
 
Like a porcupine
if they feel safe, in control
they are soft, approachable,
but the minute they feel threatened or out of control
the quills come out
they begin to defend themselves,
hurting others
hurting feelings,
causing space between themselves and those that care most for them
 
It is hard
It hurts
 
But,
Porcupines need love too
they need understanding
they need tender loving care
they even need a good hug once in a while
 
My porcupines are not going away anytime soon
so I have to learn to do more than co-exist with them
at least I want to learn to do more than that.
I can see the loneliness in their eyes
the sadness
the fear of the future
fear of the unknown
fear of those things that are out of their control
the quills have become a barrier between the world and themselves
what was once a natural defense mechanism
is now the thing that causes people and things to flee from their presence,
it causes people to turn away from them, avoid them even
 
I find myself feeling sorrow on their behalf
thinking less about my heart ache and more about theirs
I long to find out what is at the bottom of it
 
What I find is a dark place
where there is little or no joy
where any thought of trusting Jesus is replaced
with attempting to control their worlds 

poor lonely porcupines

I love my personal porcupines
I really want to give them a big hug

So here I go...
putting aside my own agenda, my own safety,
reaching out
carefully, slowly, no quick moves, 
willing to take a few quills
willing to have my feelings hurt
willing 

Oh to be like Jesus...
he had porcupines too
the lepers
the tax collectors
prostitutes
beggars
betrayers

porcupines

and through it all
He consistently stayed on message about
God's love
God's mercy
God's grace
God's judgment

He walked among them
staying on message
even as His heart broke
even as He knew some would reject Him and the message
even when He knew the pain that was to come

He came anyway
He hugged them
He came close
He loved

I pray that I can do this
It is hard
but I know with the Holy Spirit's help
I can 

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength








  


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