Today I’m linking in with BE STILL BE FREE. I love their weekly podcasts and blog posts. Wednesdays are their link up day where other bloggers can post a thought, story, or pondering about a specific topic. Today’s topic is Gentleness. Be sure to click on the BE image to the left and enjoy their podcasts and wise words.
I truly need a doggie door on my beautiful screened in porch. My faithful companion, Allie, Border Collie extraordinaire, likes to open the screen door to let herself out to roam. As smart as she is, I have yet to train her to shut the door.
On more than one occasion, while the door has been open, birds have flown in and become trapped on the porch.
When I find the frightened little souls flying about banging into the screen, their feathered breasts beating fast, and squawking frantically, I start talking to the bird in a sweet, gentle tone.
“It’s okay. No need to be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you. The door is right over there. I just want to help you get free.”
I talk quietly and peacefully as I slowly and steadily coax it towards the door. I am also a bit scared it will fly right at me and get tangled in my hair, or worse case scenario, peck an eye out! Oh, not to mention that it might relieve itself on me in its fear-filled state!
I think this is a common reaction upon finding helpless beings–a bit nervous with a desire to help. Deep down in our nature we understand fear and being gentle, soothing beings. I find this especially true for most of us with animals.
What about with scared and fear-filled human beings?
What do we usually do when someone starts banging around and squawking?
In relationships, when we have triggered someone’s fears, the behaviors don’t generally send us into gentleness mode. The frightened partner can become defensive, critical, large, and angry. Or they may become incredibly quiet, distant, and defiant. Our tendency is to run the other way physically or emotionally, get our battle gear on and squawk back, or become so overwhelmed we do nothing!
When God or an angel showed up in the bible, they were always reassuring their encountered person with “Do not be afraid.” No doubt their presence was a bit overwhelming, unusual, and fear producing.
I’m pretty sure they were not squawking or screaming “DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!!!”
I imagine it was in such a compassionate, gentle voice much like how I talk to the frightened birds.
How much different would it be if we remembered gentleness with those who have just been trapped on the screen porch of fear? Maybe some empathy, some compassion, some gentle reassuring words would help them find the door to freedom.