The first word I shared about from the basket of words was courage.
The second word I shared was willingness.
The third word I shared was trust.
Now today the fourth word I am sharing about is tenderness.
It would seem that this word is chosen out of context when considering the other words.
My reason for this is very important.
Dictionary.com describes this word as:
1. soft, not hard or tough
2. to regard or treat tenderly
3. easily damaged, vulnerable, or sensitive.
4. having or expressing warm and affectionate feelings;
a tender smile
5. kind, merciful or sympathetic; a tender heart
6. requiring care in handling; a tender question
7. painful or sore; a tender wound
8. sensitive to moral or spiritual feelings; a tender conscience
9. careful or protective; tender of ones emotions
10. gentle in mannerism
As I have shared on this journey going into a therapy room was both difficult and necessary for me.
When I chose the ‘counselor’ I was going to work with it was clear to both of us I needed soft reassurance that my direction was both healthy and good for me.
He was a gentle and compassionate man who I learned to trust in the years we worked together.
He was calm and always asked questions that were sensitive and if they were too difficult he gave me time to work on them never forcing or pushing but always challenging me.
After having one ‘misguided’ counselor experience this man was given the difficult task of teaching me to trust, to believe and to return every week with a knowing that he would never ‘purposefully’ do harm to my emotions or to my healing process.
Tenderness is a foreign concept for some or even most people entering into a ‘therapy’ room.
They enter with deep layered baggage or wounds of spirit and tenderness was not the main source of emotion given to them at the time of hurt or pain or even in the general years of growing up.
I remember clearly my surprise when the counselor was gentle and polite and careful of my ’emotional’ and physical state.
Every time he would ask, “how are you?” It would challenge me to answer truthfully for I knew in my heart he cared and wanted to help.
As I begin to process the meanings of the words held inside the basket I am prayerful that this series will challenge you as the reader to think about each word and how it applies to your life.
The fourth word in the group of words is tenderness because we cannot help one another until we learn to be tender, sensitive and protective of one another.
If the man who worked with me was not tender and gentle I would not have returned.
It was like a warm reception to my broken spirit for he knew I would break again or harden too hard
the heart that had been hurt too deeply.
Even Jesus was tender, and sensitive and allowed others to be cared for in the way that would heal them.
He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.
Matthew 10: 2 (the message)
Let us challenge ourselves to be courageous, willing and trustworthy.
Without tenderness we cannot be effective helpers when working with bruised or hurt lives.
The fourth word is powerful and so simple if we can allow ourselves to be this way.
It is a choice.