Monday, January 8, 2018
A Bruised Reed
I often wonder if God gets frustrated with our ignorance. Does He at times desire to walk away from us to spare Himself from our idiocy? Does he get exasperated and close Himself in His chamber for a moment to collect Himself after dealing with our cluelessness? Does He smack Himself in the forehead and say, “Oy vey!” when we just don’t seem to understand? I am certain that if God’s patience could be pushed to such limits I would be the one to get Him there.
Thankfully God is nothing like me. I believe that as high as the heavens are above the earth so are His thoughts above my own. He said so. I also believe His patience and His love are that much greater. In fact I bank on it, because it has become clear to me after all these years of following Him that I am simply not able to match His step without stumbling and tripping like I have two left feet. Yes, I am that girl on the dance floor. You know the one. She wants to dance, and she’s smiling like an idiot while trying for all she’s worth, but she just hasn’t got the rhythm nor the coordination.
My reason for writing this morning is to hopefully encourage you all. In a world full of scoffers and naysayers it is very easy to feel like the one in the corner with the dunce hat on your head. Let’s face it, the world is full of people who are less than gracious when they see our flaws and failures. It seems that even the ones who bear the name of Christ are prone to mockery, ever ready to pounce upon each other, pointing out mistakes and making spectacles of each other’s failures. It happened to me just this morning.
In a very brief conversation, if you could call it that, my confession of a bad decision I had made turned into an all out scornful mocking by someone who completely missed the point I was trying to make. I already knew that what I had done had had a huge negative effect in my life, but this person wouldn’t hear me for that. Instead she insensitively seized the opportunity of me taking a breath mid-sentence to begin her tirade of how she knew all along that my decision was completely stupid. Yes, she used the word stupid. But it didn’t end there. In trying to defend myself another barrage of hurtful insensitive things were said and all for what? So that this woman could have it be known by me that she knew better? That she was wiser and called out the calamity long before it came to pass? Anyway, I’m not usually a pansy, but her harsh words hit my already bruised heart leaving me to feel like the fool she made me out to be. The whole conversation took place in less than three minutes and it ended badly with her being dismissive and insinuating I was just being sensitive and then telling me she would call later, to which I replied, “don’t” and I hung up on her. Yeah...that was not so Christ like of me. If she were anything less than the woman of God that she is, I might expect her to bitterly phase out of my life. But I have no concern about that with this woman as we have through the years disagreed many times and because Christ does rule each of our hearts, He always brings us back to peace and joy with each other. That’s how it’s supposed to be. But the whole situation got me thinking about Jesus.
Isaiah prophesied about Jesus saying, “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3). There is more to that prophesy, but this is the part that I’ve been pondering. It stands out to me that often people are ever so ready to pounce upon those who are already down. Like this woman, they think nothing of the pain someone is already suffering for their sin or their mistakes or their poor decisions and they jump headlong into their tirades of scorn and condemnation. But Jesus wasn’t like that. He wasn’t one to break the bruised reed. How often we fail to incorporate this attribute into our repertoire of Godly emulation. Then it occurred to me. This failure on the part of this woman is just a misstep in her dance with Jesus. I’m sure she feels that she said and did nothing wrong...this is her MO after all. But how she behaved was tantamount to her being the girl on the dance floor, smiling like an idiot, trying for all she was worth to dance in the steps of Jesus only to look as though she had two left feet, no rhythm and zero coordination. And since I’ve been that girl all of my life, I can only offer the same patience and love that God has for me when I don’t get it right. The good thing is, I know that by the time we all get to that great Wedding banquet, we’ll be dancing like pros and not one of us will miss a step.