No idea, no clue how this happens. In the thick of the day, I can be as solid as rock, hard as I need to be, and then, safe enough to be soft like rose petals. Miraculous, the way we are put together. Hard and soft.
Light falls, dappling its way through trees.
I hear my hard side when I tell my friend, “No, that won’t fit for me.”
What a simple little line.
A dove coos out in the willow to the north of the porch. It calls out bravely, unafraid.
Here’s the beauty. When one person stands up for what fits or does not fit, whatever is solid and right (according to God and His Word), everyone benefits.
This past weekend, I sold books at a community event. I had a give-away drawing for a book or a painting. (The winner could choose one or the other.) A winner’s name was drawn at the end of the event. No one answered my calls for 24 hours at the number given. One day later, I drew another name/phone number. The prize went to the second name drawn.
My hard side (like rock) is my masculine side with boundaries, tasks, limits. Once the boundary was drawn (24 hours of waiting for a return call), another name was drawn, another call was made, and I signed a book (her choice of prize). My feminine side, my feelings, my softness showed up. Then, I mailed it. Deed done.
It’s all a balancing act of masculine-feminine, hard and soft. Hadn’t this been my story from the beginning, in the middle years, and now? I am awake to the balancing act.
This is the very thing that allows me to grow into an abundant life, a life of joy.
Is it really that simple? When I keep my boundaries, it is safe for me to be myself, to show love, be intimate, be vulnerable. Yes, it’s really that simple.
What did Jesus do? He put God first, kept His boundaries, showed compassion. Tough love. Christ, full of truth and grace. Hard and soft. Balanced.
If you struggle in the messiness of life, I invite you to read a gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). Profound. God’s powerful truth. Watch Christ’s behavior, how He does hard boundaries and how He gives softness, love, and grace. He shows us the Way to a full life.
Hang in there, and ask Christ to teach you.
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Photo by Carla Dennis, on Culp Road in Baxter County, Arkansas. April 2016.