Healing Love

It was that kindness that allowed me to heal

Amber Tracy
Healing Love
Photo by Diego San on Unsplash

I wasn’t paying attention, and my shopping cart almost hit the man in front of me. Uttering a hasty apology, I sincerely hoped he wasn’t mad. “Don’t be sorry,” he said with a smile.

At the fast-food restaurant near my house I ordered a drink. I had underestimated the cost, so I opened my wallet to pull out more money. The cashier promptly raised her hand, smiled, said, “Don’t worry about it,” and handed me my drink despite the 20 cents I owed. 

To some, these small gestures mean little. But to me, they mean more. So much more. Because I had been abused, almost daily, and didn’t realize the healing my soul needed. 

I had found myself in a relationship that was verbally abusive. My thoughts, wishes, and preferences were almost always pushed to the side, and only his wants mattered. I would leave the relationship only to go back, not realizing the harm each unkind word, each harsh gesture, was causing my soul. I thought I was strong. I thought I knew my value and my worth. Because no matter how cruel he was, I told myself I saw the truth. I thought that I was OK, that I wasn’t a doormat, because I confronted him on his behavior. 

But I wasn’t OK. And I didn’t know it until the kindness of others made it glaringly obvious. More and more I found myself in situations in which random people would perform small, precious gestures that would heal my soul. It was as if they were showing me I did matter, when he said I didn’t. He was telling me that I should hide, that I was hideous, while they made me feel seen and cared for. While he would barely lift a finger to bring me a cup of water, they would go out of their way to make sure I was comfortable.

And it was that kindness that allowed me to heal. To step back and set a boundary where I didn’t know I needed one before. To step back and realize that all those words and actions that I was allowing myself to take in had really caused more pain than I knew. And I realized, too, God’s love for me in such a unique and beautiful way. As I saw the effect those words had on me, I realized how much I needed to believe His Word, His truth, over the lies that had been thrown at me. People can hurt us. They can wound us badly with their words and actions, and a part of us may even feel we deserve it. But I believe there are times we need to step back and reexamine what God’s Word says about us, in contrast to the lies that are spoken over us. When we begin to embrace His truth, we can have the healing we desperately need. And then we too can reflect His love to others in the little things, and give them a glimpse of the healing they can have in Jesus’ love.

Amber Tracy

Amber Tracy is a pseudonym.