Thursday, July 07, 2011

Handle with care...

A while ago, I mentioned that I was advised to note for others in my path: "I am a bit fragile right now and need you to be gentle with me."  Again, the irony of that struck me because when I said that myself, it was not well-received.  Primarily with the response that I didn't know what I needed.  I think that my stance came from reading Walther and how he is quite firm that those who have been crushed by the Law need not a mote more of Law, but rather heaped upon them the sweet, sweet Gospel.  I certainly, in my opinion, fit that category.

I have been thinking about what exactly being fragile means.  How do you explain it?  How do you live in such a state.  Of course, I took myself off to the dictionary.

Fragile:  easily broken, shattered, or damaged; delicate; brittle; frail

Hmm, Bettina, does that sound like your best friend?  SIGH.  The answer is yes.  This I know.  I must say, it is rather uncomfortable to be standing on the inside of a life--heart, mind, and body--that is fragile.

I wish that I could put this into words, but I am not sure that I can find a way to shape this life that I am living in such a way that it would make sense.  Nor am I sure that I am brave enough to do so.  Even so, I have been thinking about being fragile.

The advice was to ask for people to be gentle.  That, too, was a bit ironic, for I had someone insist he was always gentle when his words and actions oft truly were not.  In a way, I kept making excuses, I kept swallowing the hurt, because I thought I had to, I thought that I was supposed to do so.  Yet God has placed in my path of late a few people who have shown me exactly what being gentle means.  

One, in particular, is a new friend.  Were it in my power, I would get her and Bettina in a room together.  Besides being a moment of pure joy for me, I just know that the two of them would fit...and not just because they both seem to be born wearing kid gloves.  Both have a quirkiness I admire and both have very fine minds.  Both understand the sweet, sweet Gospel.

I would not presume to say that it is another convenant type friendship, but I will say that she has shown me that she has chosen to walk beside me.  Another wife and mother, as with Bettina, her plate is full.  But she has chosen to walk beside her struggling sister in Christ.

How do I come up with a name for her?  Since I like old-fashioned names, I have been thinking about Rosalaine, a name that reminds me of my beloved roses.  After all, the two Adams in her means that she has the capacity to offer thorns or blooms.  How amazing is it that she has chosen to offers blooms?  Sometimes it is a large bouquet fragrant with the wondrous aroma of Christ and sometimes a single bud she knows will eventually open, that I will eventually see its beauty.

Rosalaine has been both sacrificially listening and sacrificially speaking the sweet, sweet Gospel.  Moreover, she has been teaching me things that I need to learn in the most gentle of ways.  I like how her mind works--quite fascinating--but I also like that she is a writer and can fashion a fair pen.  

It is my hope that her skill with gentle words can be captured in such a way as to share this stance with others who are facing wounded people.  To give the sweet, sweet Gospel is to give them hope and healing.  But, much if the time, in order than they might best receive it, the giving needs to be gentle.  In a way, the giving itself personifies the sweet, sweet Gospel. 

The Living Word is active.  The Gospel is active.  The active form of gentle is to mollify, calm, pacify.  It is the awesome power of the sweet, sweet Gospel that can mollify, calm, and pacify our foe, can break through his wily, pernicious assaults that obscure Christ crucified in our weak and sinful hearts and minds and bodies.  The Gospel makes peace, is peace.  The Gospel heals, is healing.  The Gospel forgives, is forgiveness.

For the wounded person, a fragility can exist that calls for the hands and voice of Christ to be gentle, calls for the giving of the Good Message of the cross to be in the most gentlest of manners.  What this looks like, sounds like, feels like is as elusive to some as is the sweet, sweet Gospel to me.  

God has gifted Rosalaine with an understanding of how to be gentle in pouring the sweet, sweet Gospel over my wounds--a gentleness God has used to bring Light to my darkness and a gentleness I pray will one day be shared with both others who are weak and weary and with those in their lives who long to help the wounded brothers and sisters before them.

A trifecta of hope I have had from my Good Shepherd, even as I still struggle in body and mind and spirit.  Someone who sees beyond the wound to the person and who is helping me gather back together the shards of my life.  A covenant friendship.  A gentle giver of the sweet, sweet Gospel.  All three are willing to let me borrow their hope.  All three do not mind that I oft lose sight of my baptism.  All three are, in different ways, a beginning and an ending that is for me.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief! 

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