A lot of the people that cross our paths are hardened, angry, tough and sometimes more than a little obstinate. They cannot stand people in authority. So often we look at this hard exterior and we judge on what we see, when what we see is only the tip of the iceberg.
We started working with the women in the Mission the past few weeks and the subject was "abuse".
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Mental abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Spiritual abuse
As these women started to share I felt so convicted....I had judged them, saw them as square pegs that did not want to fit into the round holes of society. Some of them are on anti-depressants because they could not cope with their feelings. Others were just hard and angry...real fighters.
It was one of those WOW moment! They did not commit suicide, they did not become schizophrenic...they survived. They became hard, angry and tough and although they needed so much love, these very things kept people from coming close. These were their coping mechanisms. It makes them hard to love and easy to reject. They expect and live in rejection.
The characteristics that we find negative are the very things that kept them alive. Now the task is to love them through their pain, be there for them when they fall apart and teach them to walk with the Lord on the path to wholeness. Unconditional love...the love that does not expect good behaviour, the love that covers all and expects nothing in return...