Cheer up! Snap out of it! I thought you would be better by now! What's your problem?!
When we have been badly bruised, we have an increased sensitivity to noise. Comments like these - which many of us have heard even from people who genuinely love and care for us - are a kind of 'noise' during recovery. Because we have been bruised, these comments often feel like 'shouts' or 'raised voices in the street.' They are a kind of public shaming because of our inadequacies and neediness. And this feels like it will do us in - like the tiny recovery candle that we have just managed to light is being snuffed out by the wind of the shout.
And so when God responds with gentleness we are surprised. No shouting. No yelling. No hurrying to get better. Instead, we find compassion and tenderness. Our Healer sees that we are like a bruised reed. God will not break us. God will patiently restore us. God sees we are like a smoldering wick, ready to go out. Others might give up on us. But God will work with us until we burn brightly again.
Gentleness. Patience. Persistence. We need all three.
These are the gifts offered to us by our healing God.
I am bruised, Lord.
I am smoldering.
And, I am so accustomed to shouting.
It's so noisy that I don't always hear your voice.
I don't expect your gentle ways.
I expect you to yell, to be impatient.
I expect you to give up on me.
But you do not yell.
You are not impatient.
You do not give up.
Gentle Healer, teach me to be gentle.
Teach me to be compassionate with myself and with others.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery