And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 21:4) NKJ
It was clear when looking in the mirror not too long ago that it was time to do something about my eyebrows. I am always disgruntled when this revelation greets me in my reflection because I know that inevitably, it will involve some pain. Not nearly brave enough to conquer my own necessary eyebrow maintenance, I weighed my options-some things after all are better left to professionals.
Headed to the mall that day, I remembered that I had previously noted that in one of the small retail kiosks in the midst of the mall there were vendors who offered the service of “eyebrow threading.” Apparently this is a skillful art perfected in India, where a professional takes a single thread, twists it around your eyebrow hairs, and yanks them out from the root. The results are supposedly more favorable to waxing because it offers a “cleaner” look with longer lasting results. As well, the sign which proclaimed “less painful than waxing” caught my eye as I passed by.
Already there, I took a moment to stop and purposefully observe the customer who had chosen to utilize this service at that very moment. I noticed that there was no flinching when the thread bearer quickly yanked, accomplishing the necessary task. In fact, I didn’t notice any of the pained grimacing or tearing up that I was so familiar with in my own personal eyebrow maintenance routine. Actually, I was amazed and began to become ecstatic at the thought that this peaceful eyebrow grooming experience could actually be mine! Next thing I know I was cheerfully sliding into the cool black reclining faux leather seat, leaning back, and preparing to experience a peaceful, painless-perhaps even pleasant experience.
It only took a few moments however, for me to begin to contemplate whether the previous customer had either had sensory receptive issues or had been paid well to lure other potential customers into this seat of torture by looking so tremendously at ease during such a tumultuous experience. The professional “threader” who initially greeted me with such a warm and welcoming smile was now looking rather irritated and frustrated with me as she inwardly grunted, shook her head “no” and had to repeatedly push my hand back down from covering my right eyebrow in an attempt to have a brief reprieve from the immense pain which she was inflicting upon me. I experienced only a moment of relief when she held the mirror up for me to see the results of her labor..and then the tears came because I realized that I that I still had to sit and endure getting the other eyebrow done. I was trapped, it was going to hurt-I KNEW it was going to hurt- and all I could do was sit there and suffer with the audience of anyone who happened to be shopping at the mall that day. I was feeling helpless, vulnerable, and exposed, and all of my feelings were validated by the look I was getting from my new “friend” as she inched toward me preparing to complete the work that she had begun.
There have been many times when I have felt helpless, vulnerable and exposed as I have faced difficult circumstances and walked through hurt as a Believer. Being part of the Body of Christ means that when we hurt, we do not hurt alone. Personally, I have the tendency to want to run and hide. To isolate, so that no one sees me in my weakness. Those whom we journey with however, who encourage us during the “good” times are there as well when we struggle, when we mourn, when we our hearts are aching. And the truth is, that is exactly the way that the Father intended it to be.
I think that those who love us best during these times are the precious ones who quietly slip their hand in ours and squeeze, letting us know in their gentle and loving way that they are there- for whatever we need- when we are ready. This is the type of friend that I need when I am hurting and hope to be when someone that I love is hurting.
Abba Father, help me to effectively love those in my life who are hurting. Help me to have wisdom and discernment to know how to encourage, minister to and stand beside those in my life whose hearts are aching. Help me Father to be a true reflection of you as I gently and quietly listen, encourage and minister hope and truth to those with whom I run beside in this race of life.