Stiletto heels clicked loudly down the hall. The woman tossed her leopard print shoulder bag over her shoulder, and glanced at me sideways. “It hasn’t been easy,” she said. “I know,” I replied. The tall, self-assured executive was the kind of woman everyone watched at a distance. She was smart, gorgeous, powerful and wealthy. She was also broken. Left in the wake of two failed marriages and strained relationships with her children, she poured her entire self into her job. Now she questioned whether that was the right decision. Deep inside her soul, her life decisions had left her empty. She shared memories of her painful childhood and of her life-long struggle with self-worth. When I left that day an important lesson had been underscored for me: be gentle with each other because the human soul is fragile.
Everyone has many facets to their story. Just because someone may look one way on the outside, it does not mean that their inner places are well.
In fact, left neglected, the human soul comes unravelled.
This is a foundational element in reclaiming our homes. As parents, there are times when we want our kids to reach a certain level of maturity or growth, or to act a certain way, and they don’t. We feel disappointed or discouraged and that is reflected in the words we say and in the words we don’t say.
Can I encourage all of us to be gentle with their souls?
There may be places that are wounded, sad, or neglected in their spirits…places that need attention. But judgement has never changed anyone. Love is the wind of transformation.
I grew up singing the hymn “Amazing Grace.” It says: Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” Let us reflect on those areas where we were blind. We see now, but then, we did not. Part of the journey of this life is learning and growing up into maturity. We certainly want others to be patient with us in that process. Our kids are no different. They need our gentle, patient, persevering love that accepts them where they are, and often, in spite of where they are.
We can also encourage soul care. Help them create space to tend to those deep places. Create places of quiet in their lives. This can happen through a walk through the woods, time in church, certain hours of the day without media, or a campfire in the backyard or at a campsite. Life can be hard, and relationships can be complicated.
But there is one thing that never fails: LOVE. Let this be the amazing grace we sing over one another.