Love helps the five reflections (part 2)

by Craig on September 5, 2012

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In a season where I am barely keeping above the water line myself…
I find, bobbing nearby, five people who are also in a struggle.

We’re all in struggle aren’t we?
We just don’t see the struggle of others…
because we’re too busy flapping our arms around.

Love stops the arm flapping just long to find the other bobbers and help them swim.
Even if this means a little water up the nose, and a little more time below the water.

So there are five that I am called to help.

Funny word, “called”…
there’s no voice suggesting it…
there’s no big spiritual push.

It’s just Love.

Love is calling.

The last post, I shared with you 3 of the 5 reflections.
I call them reflections because I’ve noticed so much of me in them.

If we take the time to look beyond ourselves, we’ll see that we all reflect each other.
Is this maybe the key to understanding each other, in love…to see ourselves in others?

Because we …

by nature…

are selfish.

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But love is not selfish.

Love finds its very center…in the very center of others.

Anyway…

now the remaining two of the five.

There’s the sweet one…
she just needs someone there…
because nobody ever has been.

She’s an “understander”…
she’s a trusting soul, and sometimes…
she allows herself to become a doormat.

She needs a friend, a listener…someone to remind her of her strengths…
and to encourage her through and within the bounds of her weaknesses.

This one’s a joy to help.

This one is a total opposite of two of the other five. Those two have developed tough exteriors to protect themselves. This one has no such exterior, and so her heart is constantly wounded by others.

But she’s a forgiver. Love forgives.
She does love pretty well, this one.

And this leaves the last one of the five

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The Porcupine.

I’ve written of helping the porcupine before.

She’s set in her ways.
She has sky high expectations.
And when you help – she only expects more.

She’s the unruly actress…
always ad-libbing…never sticking to the script.

And so she’s the easiest to judge.
But as I do it, I see so much me in her.
The hardest one to help, has maybe more of me in her than all the rest.

Hmmmm….

now that’s a bit of an unexpected epiphany.

There is more.

Please come back.

Linking today with Emily

 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Richardson September 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

light and lift to you
in all of your beautiful loving:)
-Jennifer

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rachel September 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

seeing me in the porcupine…oh, brother, how this made me weep! i have been such a prickly pear to those i love in these days, and i refuse to use my pregnancy as an excuse. i have been the porcupine, and i have quilled many.

thank you for this reminder to love, and only love.

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

well, Rachel, you DO get a little bit of the free card during pregnancy. Still, you’re right – it’s not ever right to NOT love. But then… There is grace. The quest for perfection, and grace for the quest. I’m too much of a porcupine too – my quills are usually invisible though – sometimes even to me. God bless and keep you Rachel

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Brandee Shafer September 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Isn’t it just so crazy how the things about others that get on our nerves the most are things so often present within ourselves? Man, I hate that. -Love, Another Porcupine

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I think the biggest lesson for me to learn through this is twofold – there’s always time to help someone else, no matter how deep in the quicksand you may be. Second, looking deeper into someone’s heart is ALWAYS a good thing – it’s there that we find our reflections – and we learn about ourselves – and we learn how to love better – looking inside – as God does – that’s a BIG lesson. Thank you Brandee, and God bless and keep you.

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Nacole@sixinthesticks September 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Oh just this, friend: “Funny word, “called”…
there’s no voice suggesting it…
there’s no big spiritual push.

It’s just Love.

Love is calling.”

Right on. I couldn’t have said it better. I love that there is someone out there saying that. Honestly? I get a little weary of Christianese. I’m glad you’re so down to earth–and you. really. get it. Happy Wednesday, my friend, and *thank you* from the bottom of my heart for dropping by, always with such kind words, that you have always been an encourager to me. Sorry I’ve been so silent so long–just re-aligning life and recuperating. I think this is going to be a permanent thing for a while ~chuckle~…..Silence seems to be my thing…But doesn’t mean I love anyone any less. I’m glad we’re still friends through all the mire! I’ll try to come by more often. Blessings, my friend.

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

still friends – always friends – you have to deal with the stuff you have to deal with – and YOU know the best way to do that. Only God knows you better than you do. Take whatever time you need – it’s all about you, and your babies, and your hubs, and your faith. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon ツ God bless and keep you Nacole.

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Katina September 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Hello Uncle Craig! Been too long…. I sooo enjoyed this. Boy have I been a porcupine:(

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

It HAS been too long! I hope you and the diva’s are okay. And oh, being a porcupine – as I said the one who is the hardest to help is also the one I may share the most in common with. Go figure. Maybe you too. I’ll be interested to see where all of this leads. Anyway, thank you Katina, and God bless and keep you!

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Michelle September 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I think I’m not the only one seeing a little of myself in all of the five. :)

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

me too Michelle – I think it ‘s really is all of the five – if I put together the strengths and weaknesses of all of these five – I see a pretty good picture of me. And, of course, it could be just coincidence that these five are the ones whom I am in the best position to help – or maybe maybe God – but whatever – there’s lots to learn, there’s lots to accomplish, and while helping I have to keep reminding myself that I need to keep moving forward myself – behind is the rabbit hole, still as close as a breath, ahead is where I need to be focused on, my feet below me, the path ahead. Thank you Michelle, you have been a blessing to me for a long time.

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Lisa notes September 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Love is calling.

“Love stops the arm flapping just long to find the other bobbers and help them swim.
Even if this means a little water up the nose, and a little more time below the water.”

I’ve had to love a few porcupines myself. It’s so hard. Listened to a friend tonight talk about trying to love her mother who just won’t let her get close. It’s so sad. She’s at a loss at what to do next. We are praying. Because love is calling.

So glad you’re still connecting, Craig. I’m hearing you.

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

There’s a little history to this post that you may have missed Lisa – these last three months have been some of the most challenging of my not so short life. Anyway, I’m still connecting – although this year is named “see” and the “seeing” has been a fairly immense challenge. Thank you for coming by Lisa, and God bless and keep you.

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Dolly@Soulstops September 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

thanks, Craig, for listening to love’s call, and encouraging us to do the same…I think we’re all porcupines at one point or another, and we all need grace :)

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Yup – we ALL are porcupines – it’s sad that it hurts God so much to help us – he is invulnerable – yet he subjects himself to hurt – for us. But even porcupines can be handled – with care – with love. Thank you Dolly, God bless!

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suzannah | the smitten word September 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm

craig, you have a keen eye and kind heart. your friends are blessed to have you, and you’re right, we spend so much time navel-gazing our own troubles that we neglect to notice–or help–others. thanks for this challenge to love better.

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

maybe a kind heart – maybe a keen eye – but then, other people’s lives are always eminently more fixable than our own – no? The trick is to continue to move forward myself, even as I hopefully bring these people forward as well. The timing is too curious and important to ignore. We all need help – some people never get it – I need to make sure that these people do. There has never been a more challenging time in my life, a more now or never time, but part of the now is helping – love calls ツ God bless and keep you Suzannah, and thank you.

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Elizabeth September 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

I love your insightful descriptions and they way I can see myself or others I know in them. I also love that you realize the best thing to do in hard times is to find someone else to help.

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Craig September 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm

if I only help me through this time that I need help – I’m not loving. If I walk past the beaten person on the road through Samaria I’m not very much of the Christian. So love calls – I listen – and looking deeper is ALWAYS a good thing to do. God bless you Elizabeth, and thank you.

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imperfect prose September 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

craig, you know people so well. you take the time to get to know them. this here, this leaning on each other, is church. beautiful, friend.

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Craig September 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Last year was named “connect” I learned lots about people. Still learning. As a result of the way I was brought up I learned that isolating was always safer than being social. I’m easily hurt – I don’t always read signals very well – but I do find that if I take the time to really know someone – then when they lean on me – it’s not like they’re really leaning on me – because I’m already there – as Christians we lean on each other as you said – it’s church – it is beautiful. Thank you Emily. God bless and keep you.

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