Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sheltering the Hurting

We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.  ~St. Francis De Sales

Someone once said, "Tears are words that need to be written." Yesterday a friend of mine posted these words, "Right now the whole world feels full of anger, fear, hurt, betrayal, lies, fury, criticism, helplessness, rejection, bitterness, deception, on and very soul hurts."  

My week away allowed me to step back from life a bit. The sun cleared my head and my sister-in-law listened to all my words until my heart was cleared, too.  Sometimes we need a clearing of our mind and heart. But I wasn't even home until I began to pick up the sad.  

My friend wrote the words of her tears. And while most of my tears were shed in my heart, unbeknownst to my friend,  her words were my tear-words, too.

I have friends who are hurting.  They have been casualties of anger, fear, hurt, betrayal, lies, fury, criticism, helplessness, rejection, bitterness and deception.  Some of them by those who profess to be their friend. Some by the one who promised "until death." Others by the very ones who accepted them into the body of Christ.  

I carry their pain in my hands, their tears mingle with those in my heart. Again, I use the words of my friend, "I feel the heaviness of life so deeply that I can hardly breathe." 

Today as I bowed my head in personal worship, Jesus gently reminded me that I don't need to carry my own sadness or the pain of my friends by myself. "From every stormy wind that blows, from every swelling tide of woes, there is a calm, a sure retreat. 'Tis found beneath the mercy seat."

I huddled under the mercy seat, pouring the pain I held in my hands into the nail-scarred hands of Jesus. He took the tears and bottled them. He stilled the storm within, and calmed the swelling tides.  

Situations haven't changed. Mean-spirited people are still mean. Those who spread untrue gossip are still out there spewing their lies. Life's blows are still painful. Decisions of others haven't changed. Yet when I look at my empty hands and bottled tears, I'm reminded that God's grace, the peace from Jesus that "passes all understanding," and the Holy Spirit's comfort are enough. Enough for me, enough for my friends, and enough for the pain each of you hold in your hands.  

Head for the mercy seat, for the sure retreat. The place where Jesus will pour His oil on your pain. "Your tears are important to God. He has a bottle with your name on it" (Rick Lance).  Let the pain sift through your fingers into His big hands. Wait in His calmness, and in God's timing, glory will crown the mercy seat.

From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat;
’Tis found beneath the mercy seat. 

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads;
A place than all besides more sweet;
It is the blood bought mercy seat.

There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Though sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

There, there, on eagles’ wings we soar,
And time and sense seem all no more;
And heaven comes down, our souls to greet,
And glory crowns the mercy seat.  Hugh Stowell

* * * * *

Sheltering the Hurting

Esther from Shoregirl's Creations  shelters with the beautiful cards she creates:

I love to use books to shelter:

Abby from Little Birdie Blessings creates beautiful images and offers them free to others for use in shelter:

My friend, Eleanor, shelters through hospitality

Connie from Family, Home and Life shelters with special homemade gifts and goodies:

Melanie and a few friends made these Rice Bags for the women in our church.  

How do you shelter?  A listening ear? Written encouragement? A thinking-of-you gift? A promise of prayer?


J said...

The way I shelter is related to your beautiful post. I remind people that no matter how dismal a situation looks, a heartfelt petition to our Lord can abruptly change any circumstance. In some cases, that change may only be acceptance, but nonetheless, it is God's personal interest and involvement in our hurting lives.

Elizabethd said...

I try to do the simple things. I listen. That is more important than a lot of things.
If I feel it will help I cook a dish or a cake. Sometimes just a gift of a little bunch of flowers is all it needs.

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Oh Pamela, what beautiful words you've shared here today. I'm not familiar with the tune of that hymn but have heard the words before, definitely one I need to learn. Thank you so much for your encouragement here and also for featuring me. Blessings ~ Abby

Rebecca said...

Pamela, You yourself ARE one - and you are surrounded by "sheltering friends".

For me, there is little that is more soothing than the words of old, familiar hymns. Their simple tunes and truth in poetry are true salve for the soul.

Thanks for sharing THIS particular one...and may you find continual and abundant grace in your time of need.

Esther Asbury said...

I too feel very overwhelmed at times with all the hurting people in circle of friends/family/acquaintances. SO GLAD we have a Friend to share our burdens - knowing that He cares and can give the help that we ourselves cannot give.
BTW - Thanks for featuring my blog/card today!

Terra said...

I LOVE the mercy seat; oh how we need it and how good it is there. I do many small things that may add up to big things.
Philippians 4:8 is ideal advice for our times. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble ... think about such things."

Anonymous said...

This was such an encouraging post, and I love the hymn. So many are hurting around us. I try to listen and go where I see a need. I often find myself at the hospital, listening, praying and sometimes bringing some flowers or a balloon.

joy said...

What an awakening, inspiring, hearwarming post. Every words touched my heart and I can really relate to what you feel. Thanks God for his words:)

Aritha said...

Thank you for this intense blog. it felt like a look in your heart and mind. Sharing. God is so good

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

It is always so sad to see our friends and loved ones hurting.

A friend of mine taught me a short and effective prayer that I have used time and time again when a situation seems very unfair: "Lord please reveal the truth for all eyes to see. In Jesus name, amen."

That prayer helps me let go of the situation and place it in God's hands and when the truth begins to be revealed for all eyes to see, there is a lot of satisfaction there too. Sometimes the truth is about how I need to change or react differently.

I use my words to be encouraging, I pray for people, I listen and I send them cards and gifts. I try to recognize those who are doing good in their daily life and encourage them too, even when there isn't a disaster going on.

Thank you for all your encouraging posts, Pamela.

Kathy M.

Create With Joy said...

Pamela, you always touch me with your beautiful, heartfelt posts - you have a knack for saying the right things at the right time in just the right way!

Congratulations - you are one of my features today at Inspire Me Monday at

Create With Joy

Laurie Collett said...

Praise God for His healing touch, His uplifting promises, His love letters recorded in the Bible! Leading others to Him is the best sheltering there is, for it lasts forever!
God bless,

Sharon said...

Pamela, just beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes. I call myself an *emotional burro* - because I have always tended to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. My own pain, the pain of those I love, and often the pain of this broken and lonely planet.

But, just as you have said, the One who bore it all will certainly help us bear our burden of sad.

Such a merciful Friend...


Dionne said...

I shelter with a meal, hugs, coffee dates, trying to make others laugh, relating, accepting, understanding and the promise of prayer. Oh, we all need to shelter and be sheltered more in this hard world. Beautiful message!

Denise said...

You always bless.

Esther Joy said...

I guess I shelter by encouraging - hopefully encouraging others through sharing the names and titles of God that show who He is or what He wants to be...

Connie Nelson said...

Wow that was beautiful and very needed post! It does seem the whole world is hurting and lately I have had a hard time dealing with hurts in those around me. It feels very overwhelming! Thanks for the reminder of where I need to go....

Tereasa said...

This was beautiful and encouraging. It brought tears to my eyes and caused me to ponder how I might shelter.

Pamela said...
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