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,
that at times cause me pain
Not physical 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,
causing space between themselves and those that care most for them
It is hard
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 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,
carefully, slowly, no quick moves,
willing to take a few quills
willing to have my feelings hurt
Oh to be like Jesus...
he had porcupines too
the tax collectors
and through it all
He consistently stayed on message about
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
I pray that I can do this
It is hard
but I know with the Holy Spirit's help
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength