Thursday, February 18, 2016

5 Ways to Heal Bruised Hearts

Anyone who knows my husband knows what an easy going, gentle man he is -- which is why I was surprised, in the middle of my peaceful night's sleep, to wake up to him kicking me over and over. I have the bruises to prove it. (Disclaimer: He recalls the incident, but only enough to know that someone was chasing him, and he was trying to save his own life; when I awakened him, we both laughed...)

I wonder how many people with whom we come in contact daily have bruises we can't see. Their husband isn't gentle with his words. A self-proclaimed best friend betrays them. A mother-in-law criticizes how they are raising their kids. An ex- husband tries to turn their children against their ex-wife or vise versa. Their adult children ignore them. They live in a drab house, yet long to turn it into a home.

The bruises are hidden. Hidden behind a smile, hidden behind shyness, hidden by wrapping their arms around themselves in self-preservation. I find them in the requests that come in for our card ministry project. I find them in stores where making eye contact unleashes requests for prayer. I find them in churches where they are ignored by those who profess to be like Christ.

How can we help those with hidden bruises?

1. Be Alert: Too often I am too busy with my writing, my ministry, my family, or my friends that I fail to really look into the eyes of those around me. When I do, I can see their emotional pain. When I'm living in the moment, I am more aware of those around me.

2. Be Kind: Speak kindly. The bruised of heart have been berated over and over. They long for a kind word. Is there something you can compliment them for -- a pretty smile, a job well done, or an insightful comment?

3. Be Helpful: Is there something you can do to help? Send a card, listen, suggest professional help. Take her to the hardware store to pick out paint -- then help her paint a room. Buy some flowers and other "pretties" to give her a spot of beauty in the drabness -- the beginning of an inviting home.

4. Be a Friend: How do we treat our friends? We text, call, or meet for coffee. We watch their kids and meet at the park. We make Christmas cookies together. We share our books, and we are real. We lose our own fake smile and share our days when we dropped the eggs and spoke too sharply to our husband.  We don't treat them like a "project," but treasure the blessing they are.

5. Be a Pray-er: Take your friend to God every. single. day. Leave her in God's hands.  Don't let her seep into your conversations with others. Be faithful to pray. Be faithful to praise. Let her know you are praying for her needs.

So there you have it -- 5 Ways to Reach Out to Bruised Hearts. You'll find gems if you allow God to help you heal hearts.


Denise said...

bless you for these encouraging tips.

Shoregirl said...

I LOVE this post and your suggestions!! This is something I am currently working on -- be more aware and praying for the hurting more!
Thanks for sharing your heart - it touched mine!

Mindy said...

Great reminders--thanks!

Renee said...

Insightful post, Pamela....ouch on the bruises. That must have been quite a may need combat pay! God bless you gentle spirit evident here in your words for those who are broken and bruised by life.

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

What a great post! Thanks so much for the insight into how to help the hurting around us! Lisa :O)

collettakay said...

What a lovely post! I especially like "Be a Friend". Sometimes we really need a friend. I hope you can stop by:


Sharon said...

These are wonderful and practical hints to help those who are hurting. I thought #1 was especially helpful, as those who are hurting are often experts at hiding it. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in, giving us insight that goes beyond what we can perceive with our earthly senses. This is a broken world, full of broken people. May the Lord use us to bring His healing and comfort and peace.


Annesphamily said...

Very insightful. I love reading your words. I know my grandson Colton is hurting but he does a good job of hiding it. I think it is the fact that he and Jacey have the baby, and he is such a delight. But her mom is married to another lady and they are quite controlling and I do not believe they are as kind as they should be to my grandson. I feel so torn. SO I pray and ask you to do the same. I am afraid her mom is going to push her to stay in college and my grandson will be working long and hard hours because he works for UPS in a physically demanding job. He made mistakes but you can not keep bringing up the past and I think sometime behavior toward others can be so damaging. I will pm you with my daughter's take. She is getting ready to lose her job unless she transfers to Texas or Washington state. She has told me she does not wish to leave the kids. All three of them are here but Alex and Christal and Andrew and Tarrah have their kids and are all fine. Itis Colton that tears at Noelle's heart. I am sorry to be so long winded. SOmetimes I cry about it. The behavior of others can be so cruel. Tahnk you for sharing this Blessings, Anne

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Such a delightful post, well written and encouraging! There is so much pain everywhere indeed, we can make a difference.

carol l mckenna said...

Pamela ~ this is a wonderful post ~ so filled with love and the spirit and 'real day' choices ~ thanks, Carol McKenna

ps. I am a member of your prayer card group ~ I am on the mend with the skin cancer surgery ~ get stitches out tomorrow ~ Yea! ~ Will go from there. ~ I am a widow with an 8 year old Yorkie ~ Zoe ~ and enjoy friends and my solitude ~ I know I am not alone but have my moments when my 'heart still feels bruised' as well as my body ~ Spirit is pretty strong so I am grateful for it all. Keep praying for me and I am sending lots of loving prayers and energy to you also ~ xox

Terra Hangen said...

These are sweet tips, especially about caring for friends.