How to remain soft (when the world gets too hard)



In any given day we are exposed to hundreds of bits and pieces of information at rapid fire pace. Some of them are totally useless. This is why I listen to the news only enough to know what is going on in the world and no more.

We live in a world of sensationalism; of endless noise, where the biggest, saddest story gets the headlines. It’s the stories that hold the most tragedy, the most grief that are waived endlessly in front of our eyes all day long. I wonder what all this does to our psyches?

For the most part, there is little we can do about any of the events we hear about every day. Added on top of that, we have family, friends, jobs and responsibilities. Things and people who can’t wait.

We tend to filter it all out in order of importance, but some of the other stuff leaks in anyway. We have to let some things slide. In fact, it gets easier and easier to let more things slide. How do we deal with all these things we can do nothing about? It’s a question I have been asking myself.

While I was back home, there were two obituaries in the paper. A young girl and a young man who should have had everything to live for committed suicide. One of them jumped in front of a train and the other shot herself. And then hungry displaced Ukrainian children and the missing Malaysian flight with 239 people…..gone.

I wonder if we are all much more desensitized than we realize. I wonder if it’s all making me more desensitized to events in my own world than I realize? It scares me to think that.

In the world of long ago, many of us lived in small communities. We knew each other and each others families. When Sally fell into a well, or when Billy fell off the tractor, we all gathered together to help. When someone died, we all cried together, prayed together.

We dressed in black and went to the funeral, brought food to the family.

And slowly everyone healed. Grew closer together. We had a sense of resolution. It felt like some kind of closure.

But now I wonder. And it makes me think that what I do is even more important than ever. This getting alone with God in the mornings. As of late, I have been thinking that maybe it’s just something I do out of habit like reciting a memorized prayer by rote.

But even memorized prayers have words with meaning, words that God can fan into flame with His power just like He can ignite our hearts to love all over again.

I think of Jesus when He was on this earth. I think of how hard it must have been to see the heartache and know that He could have just waved His hand and taken it all away. But He didn’t. He healed hearts and people one at a time, just like He wants us to do now.

Jesus had the ability to display perfect empathy in every situation. One person at a time. And He had to get away for a while too, even though He was God. 

He got alone by the water, alone on the mountain. Who are we to think we don’t need to?

Yesterday the parking lot beckoned like an oasis. On break I went out to my quiet car because my brain just wouldn’t quit. I closed my eyes and remembered the sound of the waves.

I was worried about my Mom who was sick and my Dad whose body is failing him in many ways. And I felt my brother’s wounds and sorrow too. I heard my niece processing her fears of missing me “when Nori goes back to work,” and I heard my Mom’s voice as she wistfully said, “Mom’s and daughters shouldn’t be separated.” I agree Mom. I hear you, you’re right. I felt it all, along with the joy.

As I sat there with the sun warming my shoulders, I threw a line of prayer out every now and then, not feeling it much. With my eyes still closed, I startled when I heard the rustle of wings close, and the unmistakable squeak of a dove as she landed. Right on the lip of my sunroof.

She stood staring down at me, so close we were almost eye to eye. I thought she might just fly into the car, but she just looked at me for a moment and flew off. It was a visitation. One moment of a hundred others in the day that stood out. A God moment.

And heading home, welcome words from a text on my phone.

“I am not going to the gym, I made dinner.” Oh, how I needed those words. A peaceful and restful evening after steak and asparagus. Oh yes, I will go to the gym tomorrow.

But for right now, this is how I heal. This is how we all heal each other.

Because sometimes, even after vacations, you still need a little rest.

2 thoughts on “How to remain soft (when the world gets too hard)

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful and wise post. You are so right about too much and too harsh and too hard. I love the title as our ability to be soft in a hard world probably shows Christ to the world the best. If they become as desensitized as we do they, too, need some softness. We may be all they come in contact with.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Thank you so much Linda…..I am encouraged again in my “alone” time w/God. Sometimes you need a different perspective and I think this time I did it for myself. Sometimes God whispers, reminds you why you started doing something in the first place~ You encourage me!

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