Too sensitive. Emotional. Even, um, touchy:) I have been “called” these things – and more – since I was a child. And I suppose, truth be told, there is much truth in those descriptions. But name-calling is never really helpful. Just sayin.
I have this one (very) vivid memory. I was about nine or ten and my family of four was sitting down for dinner. And I was crying – again. I have no idea if I had an actual hurt or if, more likely the reality, my mother had allowed the peas to touch the mashed potatoes, but I was crying. Yes, I cried a lot. I very clearly remember my very patient father slamming his hands on the table and, with all the control he could muster, he said (ok, yelled) at me, “Stop being so sensitive!!” Not anger but total frustration.
That started a lifetime of trying to manage or to control my emotions. Often to stuff them and certainly learning to express emotions only in private. Thankfully, many decades have passed since that exasperating evening around the dinner table. I have learned – and continue to learn – much about my emotions. Not only has God created me exactly the way I am but also, with His help and guiding, I can use my sensitive spirit as a blessing. I believe it has given me intuition and resilience, and a greater sense of empathy and an ability to better engage with others…all sorts of people.
I have also matured as a Christian. God’s word applied to me – my strengths and my weaknesses – has made such a difference. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The definition of an infirmity: a weakness, a failing, fault or foible (love that word!) This verse reminds me that God not only knows my weaknesses but He understands them. “To be touched” with them is to identify them. He understands emotions, has experienced them and, of course, is able to teach me how to use them for good.
These are my Five Minute Friday thoughts on the thought of TOUCH. My thoughts are not meant to suggest emotions (even public displays of emotion) are wrong or anything similar. I simply thank the Lord for creating me just as He has. I have not always been grateful for that. Today marks another year for me. It has taken much longer than I care to admit – but God is teaching me not simply to accept but also to enjoy who He created me to be. Here’s to another year ahead of using all of my strengths – and even my weaknesses – for His purposes and glory!!