Not everyone’s as sensitive as I am. I know this. Not everyone deeply longs for a kind look, a friendly face, compassionate eyes. Some are content roaming through the world, minding their own business in a businesslike fashion. God made us all different.
He made me tender.
I admit, sometimes it’s hard to find these things in our rushed, often “hard-boiled” world. Even in our homes (at least mine at times), frowns or cold imperviousness replace compassion.
But Jesus. In him I find a soft place. There I will find the tenderness I need. Even in the Old Testament.
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV)
Twice he repeats the blessing of my Lord’s shining face. When a child at church, Pastor Pete would raise one hand and with a glad, welcoming grin send us off with this blessing from God himself. This gesture filled me with a sense of peace–and something more–security in being gently and personally cared for.
Perhaps that care lies at the heart of why I long for tenderness–it equals love.
And of course the nativity itself exudes tenderness.
- The husband caring for his pregnant young wife as she lumbers (almost in labor) down bumpy roads on a donkey.
- The meager dwelling shared by tended-after animals.
- And of course, Jesus who comes as a frail babe.
Oh, you understand my aching for gentleness, don’t you sweet child? You have felt that longing too.
How thankful I am for a Savior who knows my need and fulfills it too.
I come to you, my Savior, seeking your shining countenance and humbly basking in your smile.
At Christmas and all the time.
Wherever you are these next few days–traveling, shopping, at a restaurant, with family–remember to love those around you, even strangers, with a kind smile, a friendly word. They may need a touch of Christmas tenderness, too.
Remember friends, He loves you like there’s no tomorrow.