Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Justin did a face plant the other day in the gym. He is six years old and so adorable; I just love, love, love this kid. I helped him up and walked him to the sidelines and sat in a chair. He crawled up in my lap and lay his head on my shoulder. I rubbed his back and whispered sweet reassurances and rocked him while he cried his hurt away. After about 5 minutes, he crawled down and returned to the game.
While it was a tender moment for sure, I didn’t think too much of it until later that day when I shared that story with his grandmother. She was shocked. She explained that Justin never allows anyone, including his mother to comfort him. He usually deals with pain by getting mad and stomping out of the room only to return when the pain and anger are gone. None of their attempts at offering comfort are accepted by him. None.
This made me wonder about the incident all the more.
As I reading Psalms, I came upon this verse that instantly spoke to me about Justin and comfort and me.
I liked very much comforting Justin. I would comfort other kids, but most of the time they are happier with a bandaid or an ice pack. I find myself to be that way. In need of comfort from someone but more comfortable receiving my comfort from an ice pack or a hot bath or a good book or a quiet room. But I have to admit that sometimes, like Justin, I would love to crawl up in a safe, warm lap and have someone rub my back and whisper sweet reassurances to me and rock me while I cried my hurt away. In moments like these, I don’t want to be fixed, or given advice; I don’t even need words, I just want to be held.
This makes me marvel all the more at that incident with Justin. Why allow me to comfort him and not his own mother? Why don’t I allow God and others to comfort me more often?
I came up with these answers though there are probably more:
Being able to receive comfort involves a couple of things, I think. Receiving involves admitting I am hurting which is not always easy for me. It means recognizing that there is a source of comfort – be it God, my husband, or someone else who cares about me. Sometimes, I fail to see that. Receiving comfort also means humbling myself enough to ask for comfort. Also not so easy for me. All too often, I fear that people around me would judge me if I were weak enough to need comforting. Needing comfort doesn’t make me weak. Being hurt or broken doesn’t mean I am less than others who aren’t hurt or broken. It means I am human. God is very much aware of the fact that at times, we need comfort and He offers it freely in the hope that we would also offer comfort freely to others.
I find it to be much easier to give than to receive, but giving requires that there is a receiver. Someone humble enough to take freely of what is offered. I hope to learn from Justin how to do just that. What about you? Do you find it hard to ask for comfort?
God of all comfort, I need You now. Hold me, please. I am hurting and I just want to hear You whisper sweet reassurances to me. Thank You for being a safe place for me to run to when I need comfort. Help me to recognize my need for comfort and help me to humble myself enough to ask for it, in Jesus’s name, amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: fatherscall.com