two doves sitting together on a fence in a storm

Rain pounded our house and fierce winds pummeled the surrounding trees during the recent California storm. It was more than a storm. Weather broadcasters were calling it an atmospheric river. Gripping my coffee mug, I watched the storm from our kitchen window; my jaw clamped as tight as I grasped my mug. The storm outside exposed the relentless storm of anger and hurt I felt inside.

As a highly sensitive person, I take longer to process powerful emotions. My mother’s death and tense family interactions spiraled me into deep despair. Am I wrong, Lord? Is it okay for me to set a boundary when, like this stinging rain and whipping wind, I’m pounded and pummeled with hurtful words and actions?

Staring into the dark clouds, I startled as two doves landed on the fence. The wind howled, and rain fell. Rather than fly off, or flap about, the doves sat still—unruffled by the storm. God’s whisper landed as softly as the doves. “Peace, be still.” Stunned by God’s image of peace, I realized I didn’t need to allow the storm (inside or out) to disturb me. I could be still and ride out the storm with God’s help.

After warming my coffee, I returned to my devotional time. God’s healing whisper continued through the lesson from Lectio 365. “Few things will cause me greater pain and confusion than a betrayal by someone close to me. As I wrestle with the difficult emotions that such experiences stir, I take comfort from the fact that Jesus experienced the same thing. He understands my feelings and is able to help me on my journey towards healing.”

It’s okay for me to set boundaries. It’s okay for me to take the time I need to process powerful emotions. What’s not okay is for me to do so out of spite, anger, or hurt. One of my favorite spiritual mentors, Francois Fenelon, says in The Seeking Heart, “Stay gentle and humble and you will know the peace and rest of God.” He also says, “Grace comes only in the moment that you need it.”

As the winds blew and the rain fell, the doves turned and nestled close to each other. Fenelon’s words echoed, “You will make a lot of progress if you just keep turning back to God.”

The doves ascended into the dark sky and I knew my storm of hurt and anger would only subside when I turn to God for the grace I need in the moment…the moment I carry the olive branch of peace and hope.

2 responses to “Unruffled”

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