Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Hidden Feelings Come Out
I was going to Sears to check out something I was interested in but I was a little early so I was sitting in my car waiting for the doors to open. I looked across the lot and saw a young lady get out of her car. She checked out the back seat where her young toddler child was belted in and shut the door leaving her child in the car. She locked the door and proceeded to walk towards the door to Sears.
I was astonished at what had just happend! I felt a responsibility to protect that child who was motherless in the car in a shopping mall parking lot! I quickly called the police to inform them that a child had been abandoned! I was experiencing nerve shattering, exasperation! I wanted her to be taken to jail no matter what else happened that day, I desired judgment to occur – right then!
I am very protective of little children and the times in my life when I have come out of my skin with carefree confrontation of others has always been when I perceived children were being wounded, or neglected. Oh, I have the stories but never saw anyone get the penalty and today I wanted to see that occur.
So I waited, looking all over the lot for a police car to drive up.
About five minutes later this young mother came walking out of the store moving towards her car. Well, I was ready for bear! I got out of my car and moved towards her with intent to harm on my mind. I approached her and out of my mouth came all of those anxious feelings:
What in the HELL!!!! do you think you are doing?
You walked off and left your child unattended in your car!!!!!!
The lady looked at me with eyes wide open, shocked at the intensity that just flew out of my mouth.
She said: “I am so sorry you were afraid”.
I responded, Of course I was afraid! You left your child! That is how kids get stolen, burned alive, abandoned! You should never leave your child like that!
She said, “I am sorry, I won’t do it again”. ”Thank you for caring enough to say something and to be so protective over my child”.
She got in her car and drove off. I was still shaking like a leaf.
That was quite a shocker for me as well! I never expected her to be so rational about what had just happened. When I got away from the situation I saw something really interesting about myself and about what had just happened.
I do a lot of teaching that almost always includes learning how to communicate our feelings in ways that are honest and effective. That day, this young mother called out my deepest feeling, fear. I was expressing deep anger through my overt words but I didn’t know myself what I was really feeling, I was just reacting!
How funny, this mother who is at the other end of a tongue lashing was calm enough to know more of the truth in this situation than I was.
Lady, I feel fearful and anxious about you leaving your child in the car unattended! I feel incensed that you would put your child in harm’s way! I felt protective over your child’s welfare because she was alone and potentially in line for severe danger! I feel confused as to why you would have done that and over how important it was that you left your child in the car to do something in Sears!
I felt embarrased that I had just left my sanity, swore at this young mother shaking her to the core. I also felt some indignation for what had happened because honestly, the lady was careless and did in fact put her child in harms way.
Well, God has His ways of bringing us into teachable moments of life. Fortunately, nothing happened to the child and hopefully the mother won’t ever forget:
Whatever the HELL she was doing that morning!
Friday, December 18th, 2009
I’ve written a great teaching on the significance of expressing our feelings. I have long touted the importance of sharing the feelings we have in order to express them, release them, and resolve them. The scriptures talk about when one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts.
This morning as I left the fitness center after a good work out, I was putting my gym bag into the car. I was feeling pretty good and as I slid the rear door of our minivan shut a bolt of electricity went through my whole body! Yeeeeeaw! My thumb screamed to my body, I’m stuck between these two doors!!!!!
I quickly pulled the handle open to release the door from my thumb and looked at a very ugly sight. I will not describe it to you so as to not spread my experience too far into your life.
I grabbed something to wrap my thumb in and with everything in my I began to pray asking God to free me from this pain. I started to intentionally breathe heavy, in, out, in… out, in…. out, with the hope that this may help with the pain. Hey it works for delivering children; maybe it will work for me!
As I was gingerly driving home all I could think of is, I need to see Vileen and share my pain with her. Then I thought about the feelings material that I had written. I really needed to share my pain because something inside me told me it would make it better.
So, as I drove up to the house and went inside, I found Vileen and showed her my sorry thumb. It did help to share my pain. She entered into the solution with me to find something to wrap my thumb. She was giving instruction for making it better. We thought it would be a good idea to get a thumb guard to protect it so I drove to Walgreen’s to see if they had one.
At the counter I spoke with the pharmacist about my smashed thumb. She said, “Oh, I’ve done that. That brings back some painful memories.”
She understood my pain because she had done that herself.
Why can we at times be so reticent to share our emotional pain with others? It helps to let others know. It relieves some of the burden to know someone else has gone through the same thing I have.
Within about an hour or so I had shared my smashed thumb with three people and it started to not hurt so badly. I have wrapped it and am now into the flow of the day. I have a big clumsy thumb but I’m ok now. Life is moving on.
Find a place to share your pain today. Get it out there and release it. Maybe it will help.
I never knew I could draw a lesson from smashing my thumb but God uses some strange things to show us how to live our live better.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
Feelings: Should We Live By Them?
by John J. Smid
The Journey of Thomas begins with Thomas’ question of Jesus, “Lord, I don’t know where you are going, and I don’t know how to get there”. He answered with, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus said to Love Him with all of our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Before we can even consider how we might build and maintain healthy relationships it is very important to learn more about ourselves. I believe with everything in me that the core of my identity lays in my soul, my heart. What drives me? What makes me tick? Where does my passion lie? I am certain that you have likely asked those same questions at one time or another.
Our Father has also said to bury the Word of God into our heart. I think we can far more effectively process the Word of God when we know more about our heart. I have a far deeper connection to those parts of scripture where I have emotionally connected to its meaning and application.
I might simply say that the way I feel can often tell me the answers to some of the most significant questions I might have about life. Some might say that we shouldn’t live by our feelings – I would say we MUST live by our feelings. I certainly do not mean we should do what we feel like doing; rather we should know what we are feeling so we can do what is right. If I do not identify my feelings and make appropriate decisions about what to do in light of my feelings, I will walk blindly through this world and potentially making horrible mistakes.
Our feelings are the warning lights on the dashboard of our lives. They keep us from harm; they help us to express passions inside of us. They even bring forth the joy of the Lord! Why would I want to ignore something that God has given me that is so valuable in helping me to live a successful life?
This session and the practical tools incorporated are available by printing the link below. This material takes a very significant message from Paul to the Ephesians and it helps to flush out its depth of meaning. Please read on to find the entirety of this foundation to the Journey of Thomas and see if it may not start a renewal in your life and relationships.
For the entire article and tools – click here PDF