Kara’s Collection: Tender Love

from an article originally published June 20, 2014...

There is such tenderness in the broken places. I feel uniquely blessed when I’m witness to the truth of the heart of another unclothed, open, vulnerable. It’s the most beautiful, most stunning in life. Sharing the tears of another is the greatest joy I have known in my life. When someone reveals a hidden shame or brokenness, I feel witness to the miracle of grace seeping into the hard cracks of living in fear and shame.

Yesterday, I was napping after having my pet scan. All at once I heard the sweet desperate voice of my young son trying to find his mama. I could hear his voice, small and desperate. He came beside my bed broken. His finger was quickly wrapped in toilet paper and full of blood. Mama, I’m sorry, I cut myself. It hurts mama, it hurts.

I pulled him in my bed, lifted his feet and smothered his tenderness and fear in kisses. I knew this was a sacred moment. Slowly, he let me look. It wasn’t big, but it was deep and on his knuckle. I added the bubbles and a clean wrap and smothered him in my love.

You see, boys grow, and as they grow they take on courage. But these glimpses, these stunning glimpses of tenderness and brokenness and fear are the essence of the very best of life.

The bleeding stopped and we quietly prayed for the courage to do the next thing. He bowed his head and asked Jesus to meet us. The girls went to play, and my young man and I went to see the kind doctor.

We opted for glue. But first, irrigation. Painful cleaning out of the cut. They came, and his face held its courage until the ladies left. Then he put his shoulder and let the tears come. He asked me again to pray for the time the glue was coming. I knew that would not hurt, but he needed my prayers for courage. They were my highest calling.

You see, a mama gets this special tender place in her son’s life until another comes to be his wife, and I imagine a bit longer as life gets hard. This moment, this tender moment next to my son was a gift, a treasured gift. That in that moment I was a safe place for brokenness. It’s what I long to be in life—a safe place for the broken.

My story is feeling desperately broken this day, but I know I will be met. Tenderly as I could meet my son tenderly. I’m afraid just like my Lake was afraid, but the brokenness is the essence of exposing our need for Jesus.

Emmanuel, be with us. Thank you for the tender moments. They are such grace. Thank you for my son. Would you let him know the strength of tenderness, even if his mama isn’t there to capture him when it’s hard. I know you will.