When we are in relationship with people, as Henri Nouwen said, it’s like holding a bird with broken wings. We must hold that bird gently in our hands because if we hold too tightly, we’ll crush it. This often happens when we get scared and think a person’s going to leave or betray us — we grasp them so tightly that we crush them. However, the opposite can also be true; if we hold too loosely, the bird might fall and die. In relationship, we can liken this to things like emotional stonewalling or simply walking away — either one will kill the connection. Every relationship between two people that’s worth holding on to is like a wounded bird that can’t be grasped too tightly or loosely, but needs just the right balance of love to heal.
Friend, this is an important truth in your life as a Christian — you need relationships and other people need you, too. Because you are held by your Heavenly Father and you take shelter under His unchanging and protective wings, you can carry His love to people — wounded birds — who can benefit from the balance of grace and truth that you are uniquely equipped to bring. Isn’t that great news?