Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rest, burden bearing and chickens :)

I have another question about rest this morning. Have you ever read Carol Brown’s book “Highly Sensitive” learning to live with the gift? In it and the first volume “The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity” she talks about being “Highly Sensitive”. That is a secular, psychological term for people who are more sensitive than 80 percent of the population. They are people who are highly sensitive across the board. They easily pick up on the internal vibes of others. The world is louder to the highly sensitive, bigger sound, brighter colors and tenser confrontations.

In our highly desensitized world I believe highly sensitive people struggle in a constant state of overwhelmedness (if that is a word) I think people who are highly sensitive are constantly bombarded with too much information. But the flip side is God created highly sensitive people for a purpose. Carol Brown speaks of the highly sensitive as God’s burden bearers. I agree. The question I have is, in a world where there is so much pain and struggle, how does a burden bearer truly rest?

I have been skeptical of my own burden bearing qualities because I have at times in my life somehow turned off the compassion switch and been able to run ice through my veins. I’m not proud of that, it is a product of wounding, but I know I am capable of massive “insensitivity”. Oh, I can tell you scary stories!

Years ago I hated my tears which throughout my childhood came at the most inopportune times. In my world tears were punished just for existing. With minimal success, I worked hard at stifling tears at home. I finally accomplished the task in my mid 20’s.

By then I had also begun to realize my heart had grown cold. I cared little for anyone or anything. I had no compassion to offer people in pain. Convicted of this I prayed to God for His compassion to fill my heart and He answered my prayers with tears… gallons of them. Ugh!

Now, passion, compassion and tears often intermix but the combination can be exhausting! I care, that is a miracle from God. I do not want that to change. I now can see the pain in people, it matters to me. It matters to me that there are people all around me in destructive relationships in their homes. It matters to me that people are afraid because their jobs are on the line. It matters to me! It matters to me that they have found over 4 thousand bodies in Japan… I grieve for the families that have lost loved ones. I grieve for the people who are picking through the ruble. It is a trauma to see the dead in such circumstance. Someone had to find, wrap, transport, tag and identify each one. Many hearts are grieving. That matters to me.

Please, don’t try to dull my passion. It isn’t bad to care. I’ve heard it many times “your too real, your too intense… eek tone it down a little!” I have come to terms with my tears and I like to care. I like that it matters and that I have some place in my heart that grieves for a torn, tattered, frightened humanity.

But today, I need to rest so God what about that? (listening) The picture I have comes from Psalms 91:4 “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

I enjoy having a few chickens of my own. As I see my mama hens poking at chicks to tuck them under their wings I can see that there is no outside world for them. For a while there is nothing to “see” because they are tucked underneath thick pinions that are dark, safe and warm. Chickens are prey animals, which mean they are constantly on alert. The only place a chick can totally rest is under the wings of her mama where there is nothing to see that might startle or alarm her.

Speaking of faithfulness being a shield, I am reminded of another “chicken story”. For quite a while I had two mamas that were always brooding on the same nest. In many ways they were quite the funny pair. When their chicks hatched they would also work together to raise them and keep them safe. One day a hawk swooped in to take one of the mamas for his supper. The other mama hen would have none of it and viciously attacked the hawk in defense of her nesting mate. In the end neither mama was seriously hurt. Faithfulness in relationship is a shield in many ways.

1) (business meeting with God) I think the only big agenda I’m getting for my day is to rest.

2) (blog) blogging has been a struggle this week because I have been overwhelmed, exhausted. But it is day 37 with I think only 2 days that I didn’t blog. That is a miracle!

3) (Act of Random Kindness)

4) (Clean something)

5) (Order something)

6) (Book)

7) (Family)

8) (Me)

9) (Ministry)

10) (rest)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the word picture of the mamas and chicks. It's a good (mental) picture for me this week.

    I'd been busy the last few weeks, and by the middle of last week sensed a distinct impression, "Turn off the TV for now." So I did -- shortly before the earthquake and tsunami, along with the aftermath in human distress. I've considered turning it back on, but the sense is "it's not time yet, not for you." Still images and news stories on the internet have helped me know what's happening without being as bombarded with a sense of being there in the moment.

    My heart goes out to those who are grieving and in such pain, yet somehow I've been tucked under His wings with less "to see." I'm aware without being totally overwhelmed, and in that there is a sense of rest.