Caregiving has its rewarding experiences. The work you’re doing has lifted the spirit of the one you are caring for. And you feel a sense of warmth and bonding. This is a good day. A day to cherish.
Then there are those times when your best efforts are met with a simmering resistance. A time when a single spark of anger can so quickly erupt into an emotional firestorm, burning both you and your loved one in its wake.
Is there some emotional “fire-retardant”? Some “water” to put out the flame?
“A soft answer turns away wrath”, the wise collector of Proverbs wrote many years ago. (Proverbs 15:1) Newer translations call it a “gentle” answer. And something deep in each of us knows the wisdom of those words.
“Soft” or “gentle answers” have to come from outside the firestorm. It may mean taking a deep breath to allow our LORD who is the Prince of Peace to quiet emotions and control a fiery defense. Or recognizing my loved one’s anger is born of frustration or discouragement. Or a moment of prayer, asking for a “soft” answer to “turn away wrath.” For we all know the truth of the rest of the proverb: “a harsh word stirs up anger”. And each “soft answer” strengthens our ability to respond with a “gentle word” in the next firestorm.
LORD, in the emotional storms of today, give me the inner peace to speak gentle words. Amen
Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016