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Choose Tenderness

November 10, 2011

In each season of life we are always learning something. Of all the lessons I can learn in Korea, the one that I am finding I continuously return to is how to choose tenderness.

I was talking with my good friend today (Miss Sarah Brown^^) and, the wise woman that she is, was able to articulate so clearly what I knew I needed to do but could not express in words.

God always puts us in situations that we cannot handle without His grace. I am visiting so many friends with babies and in this season of life, God has given them the grace they need to love and raise their children. I’ve been living overseas and God has given me the grace and love I need to thrive in a place so different from me.

But in all of it, if we are not careful, we sometimes overlook the grace and put down bitter roots, blaming the Lord for our circumstances. In reality, the Lord loves us too much to let us stay stagnate and stunted. Instead, He allows circumstance to purge, prune, and shape us.

We can either point a finger and grow cold, or we can choose tenderness and draw near. This is not only so with God but also in relationships.(married folk, you know this is true^^)

I was watching the CNN news clips on my iPhone4 today (one of my unashamed addictions) and I came to tears as I watched the legacy of Nick Charles, a legendary sports anchor who recently died from cancer. He left behind his 5 year old daughter and wife as well as a legacy of love and words of wisdom. Days before he passed he was interviewed and said,

“I’m a forward looking person but also a living in the moment kind of person… so I wake up every morning expecting to have a good day…. but life as you get older is about 20% what happens to you and 80% how you react to it.”

His words really hit me to the core. I have always thought about these things but the way he worded it made so much sense. He was a man who chose tenderness. He was a man who chose to live life fully each day and to not walk in his circumstances but to walk in joy regardless of what came his way. (Now, I didn’t know him personally, but from the interviews with his close friends and family, this is what seems to be true and if he lived by his words, then I can assume this to be true).

I want to be someone who chooses to walk with a heart that is always postured with tenderness. Not weakness (as some might correlate tenderness with). A heart that is strengthened by and filled with the joy and love of the Lord, so that anything that comes my way will not cause roots of bitterness to take root or walls to go up, but rather, my heart would turn toward the Lord (or whoever) with tenderness, ready to forgive, be forgiven– ready to love and receive love.

So– in all circumstances– choose tenderness.

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