Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: Tenderness and Love

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

To protect creation, to protect every man and woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! ~ Pope Francis from 365 Daily Meditations with Pope Francis, May 5

How do I protect every man and woman and look upon them with tenderness and love? Well, that’s pretty easy and natural with family and friends. But even there, I could do better. I think the tenderness and love come easy with grandchildren who light up my life, and I don’t see as often as I’d like. Even those cute little buggers can try my patience at times though – being demanding, or not listening when asked to do things – you know, the normal stuff. What can I do? Take a breath – or two or three, as needed – to calm myself before responding, thinking before I speak, being creative in how I can work with them to get something done, just fill myself with “love” and see what happens… I’ve got the best grandkids! (I bet you do too)

With my own adult children, of course I try to protect, but at the same time support them in standing on their own adult feet to work things through. I mostly treat them with tenderness and love, but when we disagree on something important, and we both are too stubborn to back down, maybe that’s a good time to breathe, spend more time listening to seek understanding, and know when it really isn’t as important for me to be “right” as I think it is. If I focus my thoughts on loving them, amazing things can happen, even in disagreements.  My grown daughters are actually gems – wise, caring, go out of their way to help. I am truly blessed.

Sometimes the hardest one to show love and kindness to all of the time would be my amazing, caring, thoughtful, husband. Should be the easiest, right? Except we have to figure out really messy and important “life” stuff together, and don’t always see things the same way, and it is super stressful. We see each other at our best, but also at our worst. Most of the time I feel very tender and loving toward him, and feel very loved by him, but there are those times when my words don’t always come out tender. He is my safe person, and unfortunately he gets all the frustrations and emotions I cannot let out with anyone else. Kind of the garbage, I guess.

I know that’s normal, but I’d like to pause more often before I speak, think loving thoughts, and wait until I can find a way to express myself more lovingly. If I can let myself feel the warm love of God surrounding and holding me, that loving kindness might seep through more easily. That’s something I certainly can work on. Because I won the lottery with my husband, and he deserves more of my good pieces.

If it is a challenge even with family to protect and treat with tenderness and love, how much harder it can be with others – even strangers. I do also want to challenge myself to look beyond my own small circle, and see where God is calling me to protect, or be tender to, or love or offer hope to someone I might not ordinarily consider. Practice makes perfect! – or at least better and better.

 Loving God,

fill me with the tools I need for you to work through me in protecting, and treating those around me with tenderness and love.

May I always recognize the feeling of your love within and around me, so my words and actions can share this love and hope with others.

~ Amen


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