Pulling up to the terminal after a quick flight back to Dallas from Austin, the plane stopped and sat there while sitting in the rain. Out the window, I could see the walkway that allows us all to deplane, still far away and not moving. My stomach suddenly felt that tightness from the thought of being left on the plane with no way off. It was a silly thought, but I’m sure others felt the same.
To add fuel to the fire, the weather had been balmy and nice in Austin, but in Dallas, the rain was coming down in buckets. Knowing I had a drive home ahead of me that would take twice the normal time and be more hazardous, I just sat there and took a deep breath. ‘No rush’, I thought to myself (even though I couldn’t wait to be back home to spend the few remaining hours of the day with my best friend, the Mrs.
Looking out that window also made me think about relationships that some of us contend with in our life. We can seem so close to those around us, but inwardly, there’s a gulf between us caused by past conflicts, broken trust, and wrong assumptions. What will it take to get the walkway of emotional connection to move closer? Are we going to keep living with this knot in our stomach caused by the knowing there’s no way around that gulf until someone, or something, happens to bridge the gap?
Growing up, and with my parent’s generation, men weren’t supposed to cry or show emotion. Today, it seems to be the ‘hip’ thing for men to do. I don’t really care either way, frankly, because I tend to be more on the sensitive side of things when it comes to feelings. I don’t go around crying at pretty flowers, but I do, on occasion, cry at movies or when I see genuine love happening.
Tears can be healing for the soul. The rain on that window spoke to my heart that, even when we’re separated, and the pain of that gulf gnaws at our emotions, there can be healing. Lately, even though I’m a sensitive type, I find it hard to let go of those tears (even when I see those Hallmark movies the Mrs. loves…). Why is that? I’ve asked myself that question more than once and the only thing I can think of is that I’ve allowed my heart to get hard out of self-preservation. Isn’t that like all of us, though? The old saying that, ‘what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger,’ is a convenient excuse for some of us, to harden our hearts from opening-up to others.
We would rather hide our feelings deep down inside than face the pain of being open with them. We’ve been hurt one too many times. I know how that works because that’s me.
Over the past few days, God has been working on that hard heart of mine. He has been, in His own gentle, loving way, giving me the emotional hugs, I’ve needed. And, it’s not that the Mrs. hasn’t tried. Far from it. It’s that I don’t want to burden her with the same pain I have.
God can handle the burden of our pains. He can bridge the gulf in our relationships. He can heal the hurt and soften those areas of our hearts that have hardened over time and allow us to feel again. He wants us to have joy in our hearts. He wants us to be whole. He wants us to lean on Him when it seems like there’s no one who understands.
I’m thankful, today, for the gentle reminder while sitting on a plane looking out the window at a walkway in the rain, that He loves me. He’s just like that. That’s why I love Him and want to encourage you to let Him soften your heart today too. He’s waiting on that walkway for us and will bridge the gap we can’t. Because He loves us…
Amen and goodnight my friend,