Friday, August 17, 2012
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude” 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT).
Day before yesterday I went into a shop that displayed various works of pottery from many local potters. I was in search for a few unique coffee mugs, and hadn’t been able to find any that matched what was in my mind. As I went from display to display I carefully lifted each piece and cautiously cradled it in my hands. I ended up purchasing two uniquely different pieces.
This morning as I was reading Choose Joy I thought of those pieces of pottery. We are all so uniquely created and have each been through certain fires in life molding us into who we are today. We are each valuable in our own right to the Potter whom created us…designed us… cradled His hands around us before our birth. When others come to us with their own brokenness we must cradle their needs in our hands with the gentleness we have been shown by God. We cannot be careless with their feelings and cast them aside with ‘I’ll pray for you’ or ‘I’m so sorry.’ We have been given an example of a life who went beyond simple words. His name was Jesus and His heart was pliable to the pain of others. “When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, ‘Don’t cry’” Luke 7:13. Jesus saw this woman…really saw her…grieved with her and reached out to her. This was a stranger whose path He crossed on His way to another location.
We all have experienced the need for someone to listen to our hearts and validate our feelings. Validate doesn’t mean to agree or adopt, but rather to simply echo the other person’s feelings and acknowledge their pain. We have all had broken hearts that we opened for others only for them to mishandle and carelessly hold.
‘So let’s be listeners for each other. Let’s hold each other’s hearts in our hands for just a few moments and validate each other’s significance. Let’s comfort each other with the comfort God has given to us’ (2 Cor. 1:4-8). ‘What a gift we give to each other when we receive into our hands and our hearts somebody else’s feelings.’ Choose Joy.
I ask myself this morning, 'Do I cradle the hearts of others as tenderly as I cradled the pottery?'... a question worthy of all of us.