January 15, 2008

The aloof and the brokenhearted, a lesson forced upon me

One of my favorite tools on the internet is Bloglines, where you can put in the addresses of your favorite blogs and see when they are updated. That way, I don't have to check 60 pages on the internet every day. I would probably have given many of them up by now since they post sporadically. But Bloglines makes checking updates easy. When there is a new post, that blog in the list is highlighted.

One of the blogs I love to read is by Beth Moore, Bible teacher and women's ministry encourager. She is usually hilarious, very personal and honest and often has profound things right in the middle and woven all through her entertaining writing. Today she asked us who are regular readers to check in and give our age, denomination and our favorite 'truth' right now from the Bible. So that got me remembering all the things God's been showing me lately.

I have felt burdened in the past few months to put myself 'out there' more for people. I usually operate under the protection of a certain distance between my heart and other people. It is one of those things that most pastor's wives learn early on, usually after being hurt by the people we let close, just because of human nature and how we're all jerks sometimes. And although it is not right, it is a defense technique that we learn very well. And it is partly my personality to be just a little bit aloof in my relationships. My friends (and family) who read this blog are surprised by how open and personal I am on here because I don't usually do that in person. I feel like I can here because it's not one on one, it's out there to a group and I am not accountable to one person, to remember to connect with them regularly. This sounds really hideous now that I am putting it into words, but I have to be honest to make the point. I love people. I love the people at our church and where I work, but whenever I make the step closer to someone, I usually disappoint them in a number of ways and the distance is protection from that. I am just here and there in my attachments because I like contact with a lot of people and you just can't be BFF's or counselor or comforter to a lot of people.

But here is the thing....the point rather.....God puts up with that only so long before you get a friendly little shove towards someone. And then you find that it is not as hard on you as you thought and you don't tend to think about the disappointing people thing as much as when you were more aloof. So I got my shove and God is starting to give me the words for the people He is putting alongside me....because it is not from me. People who needed a connection and a friend. People who needed spiritual advice or comfort.....and prayer. I can't tell you how many people I have pulled aside and prayed for lately and it has really blessed them to be cared for like that. (by God, not me) And then the answers! There they come....very faithfully. God is amazing and although I may disappoint people in things like not remembering birthdays *cringe* or forgetting to call them when I should, but God never disappoints. I am usually a goofball and not a "Let's talk about that" kind of person. That always scared me off in the past, I think because of my personality. But God, who gives us inborn personalities, also equips us with supernatural gifts of the Spirit just when we need them. Because like I said, it was not my choice to go deeper. These people sought me out or were brought to my attention by the Lord.

I had to learn that it is not me who is the true Friend. It's Jesus. And we need to let Jesus care for people who are disconnected and lonely, overwelmed or hurting through us. And no, I just can't do it....but HE can....and He does. And i just wanted to share that in case you are needing to put yourself 'out there' a little more for others. Because, as Psalm 34 says,

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

And often, He wants to use US to be His hands and feet in drawing close to those brokenhearted.

And to be 'aloof', we would just be 'a fool' when God gives the shove. (I'm really wanting to say 'from above' here but will refrain since this is supposed to be serious.)


joannmski said...

Ugh...ach....bleh...ouch... (cringes and writhes in pain)


Michele said...

oh psalm 34 is our wedding psalm! one of my favourites.

great post.