Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Violence that Comes Our Way

Maybe I am just in a heightened state of awareness, trying to be conscious of how I am behaving, reacting, that impacts others.  It seems today's lesson in being attentive is more about how I encounter violence.

People have bad days. People get busy. I get that. I am pretty sure they don't intend to use me as a punching bag or a doormat, right? So why does it feel that way? 

And what skills do I need to sidestep their reactions to the world, to encounter them, observe them, and NOT absorb them?

When I close my eyes, and take a deep breath and think about the hurtful moments of the day, Jesus' words about the lilies neither toiling nor weeping come to mind.  And I irreverently roll my eyes. It isn't quite that easy, is it?

Breathe in. Breathe out. A minute, an hour, a day at a time, right? 

It might be time to retreat from the world, something Jesus was quite good at. Time to close the door, or my eyes, or my mind. To pray for a little peace, a little respite, a little patience to endure the brunt of someone else's pain and frustration misfired at me.

And I hope, too, to find grace in those moments for the "other" on the edge. Grace for them and for myself so that I don't sink into self-doubt. 

I grew up singing a song by Glen Campbell in the youth choir:
Let me be a little kinder, 
Let me be a little blinder,
To the faults of those around me
Let me praise a little more.

And God, I pray those words are also on the hearts of those around me.

Meanwhile, I pray to sidestep punches thrown. They aren't mine to receive.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, thanks for you honest and wise sharing. I am walking a similar road, I think. I know that one of my struggles is letting go of self-doubt. One of the practices I've been trying to use this Lent is to focus on our beloved-ness. My beloved-ness and the beloved-ness of others. Somehow this helps me find grace, especially for myself. Somehow I'm often more willing to give it to others than to myself. Anyway, thanks for sharing your wisdom and your struggle. May you hold close your own beloved-ness as you seek to walk this journey of faith.