Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surviving Life as a Porcupine

Those of you who follow my blog probably noticed I haven’t done a post since the first Saturday in March. I hadn’t intended for that lapse to occur, but life had other ideas. I’ve pretty much been without inspiration since the first of the year.

You see, the last few months turned into a time of retreat. From unnecessary, stressful situations and toxic people. From the evils of this world that I don’t have to deal with directly. Healing wounds that run deep.

Forgiveness is the easy part (and we all know how hard THAT is when we’ve been wronged, or someone else we care about has been). Mending those deep gashes left in our hearts and souls is more difficult, and it takes time.

Photo courtesy of AJenyon of
A while back, a pastor and very dear friend shared that the Body of Christ is like a bunch of porcupines. We go through life with our quills relaxed, but the closer we get, the more likely we are to accidentally poke each other as we settle in. That’s when we need to recognize the “poke” wasn’t intentional, extend God's grace, forgive one another, and move on.

I found the analogy far too apropos. For maybe the wrong reasons. I’ve so often seen my fellow porcupines with their quills on the offensive - standing straight out - looking for a fight and willfully jabbing others because of a rebellious heart. I’ve also seen those who have those quills at attention in a defensive posture because of hurts they’ve suffered in the past (often because of the “offensive” porcupines).

Things have happened recently that have let me know I definitely need to be prayerfully on guard, as I’m slipping too easily into the “defensive” porcupine posture. I don’t walk around on the defensive (by the grace and healing of God), but it doesn’t take much sometimes to set it off either. A stranger with a particular mannerism (non-threatening at that). A situation reminiscent in some way to what I’ve dealt with previously (usually makes me brace for some less than lovely reaction from the other person). Seeing someone else wounded.

There is still much healing to be had, and I know the wounds won’t mend quickly. In the meantime, I’m trying not to be a defensive porcupine. Thankfully, in the situations that have arisen so far, God has granted me the grace not to react outwardly to those people out of that defensive posture, but I know I must be on guard until I’ve healed sufficiently not to react internally in that way.

I never want to be party to causing harm to another “porcupine”, and certainly not to those who are innocent of the damage others before them have caused. It would be far too easy to become part of the problem, instead of part of the solution to the multitude of walking wounded in the Body.

NOTE - For those of you who aren't sure what I'm referring to above, check out the first post I did this year - Life Ain't Easy.

Thankfully, I already had a fair stockpile of blog posts prior to the first of the year to fill in some of the gaps left by lack of inspiration (and, to be honest, interest). Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite enough, thus the break in my posts. Even my novel writing has been a difficult struggle, particularly in January and February, but the flow finally seems to be returning. It hasn’t returned to normal yet, but it’s getting there.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll get back on track now with this blog. Next week, back to our regularly scheduled program *G* with something I’ve had WAY too much fun with lately.