Justin did a face plant the other day in the gym. He is six years old and so adorable; I just love, love, love this kid. I helped him up and walked him to the sidelines and sat in a chair. He crawled up in my lap and lay his head on my shoulder. I rubbed his back and whispered sweet reassurances and rocked him while he cried his hurt away. After about 5 minutes, he crawled down and returned to the game.
While it was a tender moment for sure, I didn’t think too much of it until later that day when I shared that story with his grandmother. She was shocked. She explained that Justin never allows anyone, including his mother to comfort him. He usually deals with pain by getting mad and stomping out of the room only to return when the pain and anger are gone. None of their attempts at offering comfort are accepted by him. None.
This made me wonder about the incident all the more.
As I reading Psalms, I came upon this verse that instantly spoke to me about Justin and comfort and me.
I liked very much comforting Justin. I would comfort other kids, but most of the time they are happier with a bandaid or an ice pack. I find myself to be that way. In need of comfort from someone but more comfortable receiving my comfort from an ice pack or a hot bath or a good book or a quiet room. But I have to admit that sometimes, like Justin, I would love to crawl up in a safe, warm lap and have someone rub my back and whisper sweet reassurances to me and rock me while I cried my hurt away. In moments like these, I don’t want to be fixed, or given advice; I don’t even need words, I just want to be held.
This makes me marvel all the more at that incident with Justin. Why allow me to comfort him and not his own mother? Why don’t I allow God and others to comfort me more often? I came up with these answers though there are probably more:
Being able to receive comfort involves a couple of things, I think. It involves admitting I am hurting which is not always easy for me. It means recognizing that there is a source of comfort – be it God, my husband, or someone else who cares about me. Sometimes, I fail to see that. It also means humbling myself enough to ask for comfort. Also not so easy for me. It also means I need to be able to define what comfort I am in need of; a kind of setting boundaries. One more thing I stink at.
I find it to be much easier to give than to receive, but giving requires that there is a receiver. Someone humble enough to take freely of what is offered. I hope to learn from Justin how to do just that. What about you? Do you find it hard to ask for comfort?
God of all comfort, I need You now. Hold me, please. I am hurting and I just want to hear You whisper sweet reassurances to me. Thank You for being a safe place for me to run to when I need comfort. Help me to recognize my need for comfort and help me to humble myself enough to ask for it. Amen
Are you in need of healing? Can I pray for you? Please let me know.
- In the stillness of the evening (lifereference.wordpress.com)
- My heart is overwhelmed (timothyholman.wordpress.com)