Redeeming Sensitivity

Susan Delaney was mad at herself.  After a misunderstanding with her coworker, she willed her voice and face to stay intact.  But she lost the battle.  As she stood in his office, her eyes misted and her lips quivered.

With no turning back, she wondered, will he understand?  In light of his knowledge about her current stress, she guessed yes.  When she first got the job, Dan reminded her of a father-like figure.  A whole lot better than her father, actually.

“Are you trying to manipulate me?”  The question jolted her, cutting deeper.  She last heard it from the lips of her former fiance.  Manipulation – seriously?  She just wanted understanding.  Couldn’t a guy grasp that?  She wanted Dan to see her viewpoint so she wouldn’t shrink beneath his harsh eye of judgment and scrutiny.

“Please excuse me,” she said, slipping into the hall so he wouldn’t see her floodgate.  The last thing she needed was for him to further question her motives.

“Susan?”  The voice came from Jane Turner, the second last person she needed to see right now.  Susan gave her a quick wave, hoping Jane would understand she was in a hurry to get to the restroom.

Jane was cold and hard as polished stone, the kind of lady Susan envied at these times.  If Jane had been talking to Dan, she would have held it together.  She would have calmly laid out the facts, maybe even put Dan in his place.  Jane wouldn’t second-guess herself, wishing she’d said this or that.  Most importantly, Jane wouldn’t crumble at someone’s suggestion that she was far too sensitive and maybe needed medication.

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Friend, are you extra-sensitive like Jane?  Are you a warm, tender-hearted person who would love to hug the whole world, but at the same time, stay steer clear of those cool, unemotional types who always seem so painfully distant?

God wants to meet you right where you’re at today.  He accepts you, but he also wants to strengthen you.  He wants to fashion all your inward parts for his glory.  But that’s not all.  He also wants to teach you to fear him more than you fear man.  Where man has this amazing talent of messing up, God never does.

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. Prov 29:25

Don’t harden your heart to those who are unlike you.  Love them like Jesus loves.  Jesus was – and is – the most misunderstood, mistreated person in history.  He’s also the perfect blend of softness and strength.  That’s why Scripture describes him as the lion and the lamb.

In regard to your sensitivity or lack of it, please join me in praying Reinhold Niebuhr’s timeless Serenity Prayer.  Thank you for being you; and big hugs to you!

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time: Enjoying one moment at a time: Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace: Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it: Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with – ouch – sensitivity.  Thanks!

6 Comments

  1. I love this! Excellent!

  2. Thanks Debbie,

    May you be sensitive to the sweet brush of His Spirit today.

  3. This came at just the right time, and I finally am willing to accept strength. It’s been a hard battle of emotions and insecurity. Jesus is my help in time of trouble, and always. He does the changes that last. More of him and less of me!

  4. Cheryl,
    I once got let go from a job because I cried in front of my boss. He actually had to say to me “Check it.” And I said, “Pardon me?” because I didn’t understand what he meant. So he said, “Get it together.” I struggled so hard to stop the tears. It always stems from criticism, and it still happens today. My sister and I have talked about it, and we figure it’s because our dad was verbally abusive and critical.
    But God is not. My heavenly Father loves me no matter what or how I am, as He calls me to be better in His love.

    • Christiana, I can relate. And I think you might be right about the connection to the past. Many people won’t “get that” because they’ve never walked in our shoes. Good thing God’s the only one true judge. He knows where we’re coming from, and He’s ready to wipe our tears.

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