Broadcasting Honor

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The value of a man. The value of a woman. Will we ever understand how this all works?

I’m certain that human dynamics will forever remain a mystery to me but that won’t stop me from reflecting on what I know, what I’ve experienced. Following are two vignettes, one positive and one negative.

#1 – He spoke and his words triggered something for her. What was it? Why did she feel disarmed by his kindness? Why did she feel so powerful? All at once she felt freedom and perfect safety. How can you feel those at the same time? She lost track of the conversation. What was he saying? Get a hold of yourself, she thought. You’re an educated woman, for heaven’s sake, act like it.

#2 – He spoke to her. She cringed. Her insides literally curled and she found it hard to breathe. The room got smaller and it was hard to focus. There was something about his voice — the edge in it — that reminded her she was not safe. What he was saying wasn’t actually bad. It was memory. Memory jangled in her ears of previous conversations, when someone else’s words had cut her to the quick. She felt small. What was he saying? She’d lost track as she wondered, “Would it ever change? Would she ever be free from this poison? Would she ever stop cringing? What was wrong with her?”

For starters, the roles could be reversed. These vignettes could depict a woman speaking and a man having a visceral reaction to her words. Second this is not a depiction of a “Christian man” versus someone whose life journey does not includes God. I’ve known plenty of Godly men and women holding up their end of the second vignette, myself included. Hah! You thought this was all second person and I was the fragile feeler in both these scenarios. Perhaps! We do write what we know. But the fact is I’ve delivered fear on a plate, with a side of intimidation far too often than I care to consider. So I write this for myself as well as for you.

My friend uses this term she calls ‘broadcasting’. She has taught me about broadcasting honor, and broadcasting love without conditions. This results in what we observed in the first vignette … where the person we are speaking with is overcome with a sense of safety and they feel empowered and almost distracted by the positive feelings from their encounter with us.

I want to be the person who disarms people with kindness. This is not a venue for public confession but I don’t have permission to reduce a person to ribbons when I am inconvenienced, or done a dis-service. Ugh. You’re lookin’ at her. I’ve done it. Maybe you have too. I hate it when I do that!

I want to tell you that the Lord has totally healed me of my ‘edge’. Nope. It’s still there. Certainly He’s filled in lots of the gaping places where my past wounds have resulted in me hurting others with my words. But for every crack He’s filled in with love there are seven more needing more of Him. Surprised? I’m not. It’s His intention, you know, that we journey through this life and turn to Him with our lapses in love, and permit Him to change our nature. He’s really good about that sort of thing.

Receive Father’s love into your cracked and creepy places.

Broadcast honor.


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