Henri Nouwen once said that being in a relationship with another person is like holding a bird with broken wings. In other words, we must acknowledge that the human soul is fragile. An injured bird is delicate, and it can’t be grasped too tightly lest it be crushed and hurt further. Likewise, as we attempt to connect with and express care for someone else, we must be gentle. Otherwise, we might squash their spirit and smother them in our attempts to “help.” And while we can’t hold on too tightly, we also can’t be careless with our connections. Like an injured bird will fall and die if not cradled securely, when we refuse to engage emotionally with those closest to us — whether our spouse, our kids, or our friends — our bond is compromised, and our future together is jeopardized. Every shared exchange between human beings has the potential to hurt or heal, and healing can only happen when we hold others gently, employing just the right balance of empathy and freedom.
My friend, be compassionate toward the ones you love. It’s easy to take out frustrations and unresolved problems on those you care the most about, but remember that the hearts of human beings are delicate. When interacting with people, always choose the high road of mercy and compassion, and treasure each and every relationship. As you hide under your Savior’s wings, let Him be your source of security so you can give your most present, authentic, and loving self to others.