Comfort

Bruised

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I tend to bruise easily. When bumping a leg or arm, I immediately surmise that there will be a bruise. Bruises are painful and unsightly as well as bad for my ego. A bruised spirit is invisible to the naked eye and discerned only by the wise; in his compassion the LORD administers healing balm.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19 KJV).”

God the Father sent the Son; Jesus fulfilled the Father’s desire. Appointed and anointed, Christ carried out his Father’s restoration plan. Through his love, I am liberated from a bruised spirit and emotional wounds.

Ripples of Peace

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Pam Ford Davis

And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said; ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour (Matthew 9:20-22 NKJ).”

I visualize this woman’s medical chart… “Diagnosis: Severe Anemia and Chronic Depression.” Doctors had been unable to offer her relief and she found faith in Jesus as her away of escape from illness and entrance to restored health. She did not want to approach him directly and formed a plan of merely touching the hem of His garment. She came to understand touching the hem instantaneously touched His heart. He heard her unspoken prayer and proclaimed words of encouragement and healing.

The flow of blood ceased. Jesus released a rivers flow of living water!

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Sprit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:38-39 NKJ).

The unidentified woman would one day experience the full benefits of living water; ripples of peace sealed His promise.

Weep Not

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Pam Ford Davis

We learn through repetition, if I see a phrase used repeatedly in scriptures it peeks my interest as an issue of great importance to God. Scattered through the Bible are words of command to fear not and do not be afraid. Fear began following the transgressions of Adam and Eve and plagues humanity to this very day. A less frequently command comforts me.

“Weep not (Luke 7:13b KJV).” There are different stages of crying, at times we are able to stifle our tears or wipe them away and conceal our pain. There are silent tears, other times of sobbing and we express extreme sorrow by wailing. It matters not how dramatic we weep; Jesus can silence tears with his presence and command. A widow lost her only son and grieved his passing. “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not (Luke 7:13 KJV).”

The Hand-Holding Stage

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Pam Ford Davis

Are you past the hand-holding stage? I fondly remember the days of infatuation and boys beginning our relationship first with affectionate glances followed by hand-holding.  As two, we were linked by touch and others present saw us as a couple. Is it merely an outward display of endearment or does it hold far more?

Hand-holding did not begin in puppy love but at birth. Mom and Dad held my hand and counted fingers. As I grew to toddler stage, they held my hand as I walked at their side, guiding and protecting me from danger. If I rebelled against their authority, they held my hand with correction.

Hand-holding took on a new dimension in my first experiences of death and grieving. People quietly came to my side, held my hand, extended love, comfort and encouragement. They will never know how much I needed that act of kindness and tenderness.

Jesus, take my hand. “When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand (Psalms 37:24 NAS).”

A Letter From Mama

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GUEST WRITER: EMILY SWANSON

 

How quickly time has flown. The yesterdays now far out-measure the tomorrows. But please don’t look at me with pity.

Inside me there is a little girl swinging in the sunshine, running through the fields and playing dolls in a make-believe playhouse on the dusty earth beneath a live oak in the yard. There is a happy teenager, giggling and sharing secrets with my best friend. Sometimes there emerges the memory of a new bride who has chosen to make her home with a special young man. They clasp hands and exchange knowing glances. The twinkle in his eye tells me I am still special.

“Precious memories flood my soul” of the children with whom I shared life. The joy and pain of giving birth was my special blessing from God. A large portion of my life is labeled “mama”.

Now the sands of time have shifted and the sand is nearly run out. The hourglass is turned upside down and once again I am become that helpless little child, vulnerable and trapped in this tired, used-up, adult body.

I know, my child, you grieve for me. It is hard for you to assume your new role as caretaker. I too, wish it did not have to be so. But the cycle-of-life dictates it to happen just this way.

When you were a babe I rejoiced when you were first put into my arms. My heart expressed wonder in my breast as I examined every tiny finger and toe. I marveled as you began to crawl and laughed out loud at your first word! There were times of great pain as I rocked you through the night with high fever, unable to administer the healing I wanted for you so desperately. I nursed you, nurtured you, loved you and enjoyed you. You were one of my special gifts from God. You are “mama” now. I’m sorry it must be so, for it takes a special grace for both of us to surrender our roles. But His Grace is sufficient.

Know that sometimes I am afraid. This is an unfamiliar path I walk. I have shown you how to walk many paths in life. I shall try to show you how to tread this one with faith and dignity. There are may old people who have to life this time of their lives alone. Thank God I do not walk alone, He is here and so are you! Do not try to be Him and take responsibility for making me whole and pain free. Do as I once did in that rocking chair so many years ago…acknowledge that He is in charge. Whatever transpires here is for just a little while and has great purpose in His plan for our lives.

When you come, bring gifts. Bring the gift of your smile and of loving arms to “hold me”. Bring the gift of reassurance that I am loved and I am hot a burden (for I fear that I am). Let us share meaningful words for time is too short now for trivia.

And when the Father calls me home, grieve for a little while. You will be lonely for a part of you will be gone. Mama and Daddy will both be away. (But you are not alone or comfortless, my child. You have family to whom you have given life) Grieve the loss. Talk about it. Then you can begin to remember the good times and the good things we shared in life. Those precious memories will far out-weigh the grief…in due time. Then your healing can occur.

There came a time, my child, when you wanted to leave home and fly on your own. I had to release you…thought it made me lonely. Release me, my child, and let me go home. I’ll wait for you there and the light will be on.

 

Rocking Chairs

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I began writing this article sitting comfortably in a rocker glider. I have been a rocking chair fan most of my life. My mom placed one in our living room; and there were rockers on my grandparent’s porches. I believe babies are to be loved, fed, diapered, bathed, and ROCKED! I started babysitting at age eleven; and I have happily rocked many babies.

After our first child’s birth we picked up an old wooden rocker. A couple of years later I gave birth to our next child.  One Christmas my husband’s parents gave me a beautiful small white rocker, with a cushioned back and seat. I could not have been more thrilled! In the past forty years there have been many rockers, some holding special memories. I enjoy old movies, especially from the 1930-1950’s era. One of my favorite Christmas classics is “Christmas in Connecticut,” starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. In one scene he demonstrated different methods and reasons for rocking. It’s a keeper!

The “Britannica World Language Dictionary” explains rocking in ways such as: “moving back and forth, to sway…to soothe, as to put to sleep.” We sing “rock-a-bye lullabies!” Now I understand the appeal of rockers; it is soothing to rock! The dictionary defines soothe: “to restore to calm, to a quiet or normal state.” Jesus, who “calmed” the raging sea, (Mark 4:39) is my Rock. He soothes me as He rocks me in His arms!