Beyond The First Impression

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1


Every morning I rose–not so bushy-tailed– before the sun to teach a group fitness class. We left the east facing door open for the soothing radiant colors.

Plowing through our ‘We can do this!’ mentality with demanding exercises, great workout music pointing to the Lord, and brilliant colors of sunrise to ease the pain. . . who wouldn’t love that right?

Overall, the group I taught was wonderfully responsive to my efforts towards motivation, with the exception of one person.

There was one lady who came in daily seemingly in her own world. With her head down and no eye contact, she clearly wanted to be left alone. I vacillated at times between small welcoming nudges and allowing her space.

But truthfully . . . sometimes my thoughts weren’t pleasant. Wondering what her problem was and why she would attend with that kind of behavior. In hind sight, I’m embarrassed to have ever entertained such calloused thinking.

A few months into the class a group of us were talking afterwards and as the ladies began going their separate directions, she approached me. I remember being stunned by her mere approach. She had always departed immediately after class.

But this time. . . was different. She began to share.

From her heart.

She said that she had been attending in an aloof manner because she felt she was barely existing in her life.

That it was a miracle that she could ‘get herself’ to attend at all.

She shared about one morning when she woke with the awe-striking sensation that she’d married the wrong person.

It paralyzed her.

She said she was doing better, taking one day at a time. And the class was helping.

I was humbled that I had thought poorly of her.

I ached for her and received a sizeable lesson about impressions and the possible aches, wounds, and web of story behind the behavior.

Sometimes, the healing comes more slowly than others.

But . . . it does come, as we dwell in His shelter.

When the ache is heavy and the plea is strong. Be in Him.

Everyone has a story.   Praying for sensitivity in my thought life and my interactions.

Have you been in a position where someone allowed you the freedom to hurt?  Or have you been the person showing sensitivity to the pain of another?  How did you recognize the Lord’s lead?


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