With every encounter with each individual, there is a story that is being unfolded. As we read through the chapters, processing the storyline with our eyes and our ears, we are given the opportunity to learn exactly who people are when we look and listen from the purest depths of our hearts. Translating what they say and what they do into the language that we speak and through our filters of hopes, fears and experiences will lead to certain disappointment, damaging miscommunication and unnecessary anger.
- A random text revealed the current activity of a friend in another state. My first reply brought no response from him. My second reply most assuredly did. You see, my first reply was from a female perspective on a sport I have no interest in yet I was trying to sound supportive nonetheless. My second reply two minutes later was as a friend understanding an unspoken need of another friend and responding to the underlying message instead of the subject of the text.
- A conversation over lunch was loaded with ideas and goals of danger and sometimes outright stupidity. It would have been easy to tell the young man how brash and immature his actions appeared. Indeed, perhaps someone does need to tell him exactly that. At that particular time, however, the young man needed to be heard and validated. Recent events have brought much pain and disappointment in his life. Events farther back have robbed him of sense of identity, stability and direction in his life. His current choices reflect a prolonged state of inner turmoil. The young man needs to know he has what it takes to be successful in life and he is worth believing in and loving.
- She has only just started visiting neighbors and going out in public for she has a lifelong history of obesity and even morbid obesity most recently. Within the past year, she has undergone gastric bypass surgery, losing almost 100 lbs. She sat within the depths of the sofa sobbing from within the depths of disappointment, disbelief and anger as she related the tale of “betrayal by her boyfriend”. Every sentence seemed to begin with “Why?!” She just couldn’t understand how he had changed so much. He had borrowed money and not paid it back but he would become angry and accusatory when she stopped giving. He had been put on suspension at work and would possibly lose his job. He was jealous of her every movement and suspicious of every conversation. He had been reading his Bible and on the right track but now all he seemed to want to do is drugs. A few probing questions revealed that the boyfriend had in reality been someone she knew from school days; she knew his mom, his family and all his friends. He had become a pen pal during his six-year incarceration. He has just recently been released.
This evening I sat on my “new” front porch, patting myself on the back for my creative and frugal attempts at decorating for curb appeal. A light breeze was blowing; wind chimes were dancing. New neighbors were moving in, unloading sofas and pillows and all sorts of things. Many storylines were pinging through my gray matter–all of people wanting to be loved for who they are.
I opened the book in my lap. Scribbles on the inside flap indicated that I purchased the book in 2005. Most of my expendable income used to be spent on books, particularly books on relationships; this was when I was a satisfied single and determined to stay that way. There is no doubt that I have read the book multiple times already. The book is Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, by John and Stasi Eldredge.
“The mystery of the of the feminine heart was meant to be a good thing, by the way. A source of joy. Yet is has become a source of shame … “
There is a counterpart for men. Naturally, that one is on my bookshelves as well. The common message of the two is about the heart. Life is harsh on the heart. Until our hearts are rescued and released, we will continuously be held captive by disappointment and disillusionment, pain and shame, blame and anger. Until our hearts are rescued and released, we will hide behind activities of obsession and weights of oppression. Until our hearts are rescued and released …
We all are longing to be loved for who we are.