My Father's Daughter


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Tenderness

photo source: Wikipedia

There is a small rabbit dying outside my office window today. It is breaking my heart – open wounds, broken bones surrounded by delicate fur. We debated trying to save it but can see the futility of that course of action. My father would shoot it, but as my husband is not a hunter or gun person (thank you, God) we are letting nature take its course.

It is agonizing to watch the life ebb out of the glassy eyes of this beautiful creature. It is a fragile, tender, precious thing, and it is dying.

I wish I could do more – offer comfort, provide healing, take it in my hands and stroke away fear.

I wish I could feel less. Somewhere inside me echos the words of my farming ancestors that this is only a rabbit. My husband pointed out that it is rabbits who cut into the bounty from our garden. I hear words from my childhood – that I am too sensitive.

Maybe I am.

Or maybe it is not a shameful thing to be open to the suffering of even a small rabbit. There is so much pain and suffering in this world – so many things that I can’t imagine, that people must endure. I fear knowing about it because I fear that once I tip into it I will drown.

But people do endure. And when we are tender toward the suffering, when we acknowledge it and sit with it and identify it’s profoundness and beauty, we are the better for having known it.

I am sensitive. I am tender-hearted. It is how I see the world, and it is how I know that the world my Father created and the people he made in his image are awe-inspiring, delicate, beautiful and precious.

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