On Saturday afternoon, I had coffee with my 16 year old niece and sister-in-law. My niece is a shy girl and has been living with Type-1 diabetes since she was 11 years old. Literally for years if I would talk to her, she would look at her mom or sister and not at me. If she would reply, she would reply to her mom or sister for them to answer me. She is a wonderful young lady, but likes to escape into books.
Yesterday I shared with her that I started writing short stories and asked her if she would read one and let me know what she thinks. I told her I wanted her to be honest with me about her thoughts and feelings about the story. I brought up the story:
Jessica’s Encounter at The Harbor Coffee Shop on my iPad for her to read.
In the story Jessica has anxiety problems and feels it when she enters the coffee shop. Jessica has an encounter with Mary Magdalene that changes her life.
When my niece finished the story, I asked her what she thought/felt about it. My niece looked at me and said, “That’s me. I am like Jessica. I have anxiety.” The rest of our time together when I would talk with my niece, she looked me in the eye, maintained eye contact and talked with me directly. I have prayed for her for a long time. I didn’t want to overstate anything or be to pushy, so at the end I encouraged her with, “It is okay to be shy. Many people who have autoimmune problems have anxiety. I have Celiacs and I have anxiety problems at times. Having anxiety doe not mean you are crazy.”
Yesterday reminded me of the bible verse in Isaiah 42 that is quoted in Matthew where it says- “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory” A bruised reed he will not break. Jesus has ALL POWER yet he is gentle. The context of Isaiah 42 is about the Messiah coming in power yet a bruised reed he will not break.
The image that comes to my mind is of the one who has all power stopping to take care of the bruised reed. Yesterday, he did not break my shy 16 year old niece. He was there in gentleness to say to a 16 year old girl with anxiety that he is there for her. It happened as she read the story.
For me, that is why I started my day by praying and asking God to help me show his love to those I will see that day. That is why I write the stories in my other blog. My hope is for more bruised reeds to read the stories and feel Jesus saying to them. “I love you.”