On Tender Hearts
The cold stings my face awake, and the sun squints my eyes. It’s a day to be grateful. I drop my boys with a sitter, and I get in my van, sit in the beautiful quiet for a minute counting the points of ice crystals on glass. Then I pull up to the local superstore and unfold my list.
It says, “find the fat pencils for school,” so on my way to supplies, my mind drifts to the ones in my life who suffer, the daughter in ICU, the son turned prodigal, the house burned down, the child that heaven holds. In this fast-whirling stage of motherhood, somehow superstores have become my new place to internally cry out. I guess this is because I go there alone, while my showers are usually accompanied by a chorus of “can-we-eat-yets.”
Today, I see in the medicine aisle the generational pull of a mother over her daughter, the dyed hair, the dark circles. I see the man who oomphs his way behind a cart, each step a heaved effort. It’s easy to be so aware of pain that I can’t contain it, then I become the one who draws attention, tears surfacing and embarrassing.
I complain about it a lot. Lord, why am I so emotional? Why such empathy? Why did that flash mob on YouTube make me squall like a child?!
And every time, I get the same response and that feeling I hope my children get when I tell them that I love specific things about them. That’s how I like you, I hear.
Could it be that sometimes I confuse a depressive nature with the nature of the Spirit to bear the burdens of others with honor? Could it be that I was made this way at my new birth, to find the yoke, get beneath it, and walk along with Christ? With Christ, the burden is light, but He never said there wouldn’t be burden.
He never said this world wasn’t as delicate as breath, as ice crystals on car windows. He never said, follow me, and you won’t feel a thing. The skin, the heart is tender, and there the impression of Christ bears down.
I want to let it be that way, let my love be tender like His, our fragility like glass centered in calm Creator hands.
This was originally posted January 14, 2011, and I hope I’ve matured since then in how I release the burdens I bear to the Lord. Still, I’m reminding myself today all the different ways He’s made us for His glory. Many times we’re ashamed of it, but if we embrace it, we’re much more likely to mature in our gifts. Thank goodness.
I would love to hear what gifts you may need to embrace, too. Talk to me over here on Facebook because it’s easier for me to mother and keep up there.
photo copyright by Andrew Magill via Creative Commons via Flickr