She’s a wisp of a little thing, the kind of child that catches your eye. She’s often quiet and reserved and seems to ration her smiles to be given only to those who can reach within and draw them out, which is no easy task. She is confident and opinionated and smart and when her mind is set she is as an impenetrable wall protecting her stance. She is fierce and many times a force to be reckoned with, the kind of child that one can find intimidating. I am still finding my way with her.
She seems to live as though every boundary must be thoroughly and repeatedly tested, giving the impression that she is belligerent just because. I suspect she believes herself to already be more intelligent than the most of us who are feebly trying to lead her. Perhaps she is right. She has this innate ability to push your buttons as she locks those steely blues on you and counters your every move. She is as tenacious as she is persistent and certain she can outlast any energy you expend in an effort to oppose her.
She’s had a lot placed on those tiny shoulders lately, more than any child should have to carry, and it is taking its toll. As I was teaching this week I saw it wash over her as if she couldn’t hold it off any longer – defeat. My heart ached for her but she wouldn’t let me in. She is struggling with emotions for which there are no easy expressions, pain she cannot stop, and the frustrations of one who is too young to understand what shakes her soul. As fierce as she is, she is fragile.
She is like delicate, fine china, exquisite in appearance and requiring great tenderness and care – something that is easy to miss in one so fierce. Once noticed, this vulnerable fragility makes you want to take her and keep her hidden from the world and all that would threaten to chip and break this frail heart. Resistant to being protected, she doesn’t want to be hidden, just helped, especially when she doesn’t make it easy.
I’ve always viewed her fierceness as her strength and her fragility as something to be changed. Today she showed me that I have it all wrong – it is her fragility that is her greatest strength. I watched her move with no hesitation, no fear, and no awkwardness among strangers who were weak and frail, tenderly looking them in the eyes and offering them simple, pure love. Precious, unspoken understanding of what it’s like to be fragile was the very thing she had to offer. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
I was humbled and reminded how desperately I need God to help me see what He sees. For I’m not a delicate, fine china kind of person. I’m more the every day dinnerware that can take the bumps and chips and scratches and drops without shattering. The kind of person that has viewed fragility as weakness in others when, in fact, it can be a wonderful strength.
I saw my little friend again this afternoon and she rushed to give me a hug and a smile. Her world was made right, even if just for a while, by the giving of herself to those who she knew just need to be loved. Another lesson for today.
“And she is fiercely fragile” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com