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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)

TITLE: This is About That
By Lori Dixon


Once, not too long ago, during a wonderful intimate time of ladies fellowship, a lovely sharing circle suddenly turned into a brutal combat zone.

A beautiful, godly woman without warning and seemingly without cause, turned and let out a deadly barrage of Ďfriendlyí fire, riveting a poor, unsuspecting ally.

The silence that followed the unprovoked attack was incredibly unnerving. A few dared to look up and survey the carnage while most of us kept our heads low and pretended to be completely engaged in our rings and fingernails.

My mind began to process the situation, trying to figure out what triggered the attack . . .

This is not about this . . . This was about THAT!

But of course!

So often people snap and spew hurtful words at bizarre times. We who witness or worse yet, receive the blows wonder what on earth just happened. The savage verbal hit is typically undeserved leaving us scratching our heads and wanting to duck for cover.

The thing is, this is rarely about this but rather about that. When seemingly sane people suddenly lash out irrationally itís usually due to a trigger. Something said or done reminds them of a hurt from their past and click the bomb goes off. That is what they are angry at, not you and not whatever just transpired. In fact, it may be an old hurt from decades before.

Itís kind of like my dog.

She was a pound rescue and besides her oversized ears, she appeared to be a very loving, secure and Ďnormalí dog. After a few weeks with us, however, while horsing around in the kitchen one day, I whipped a towel playfully at the kids. As soon as she heard the snapping sound, she snapped! It was completely unexpected and over the top. Not in her true character at all! Clearly this little pup had a bad experience with some abuse or something that brought out the fight or flight in her.

Ten years later, a bit more sure of herself, she can now handle a few snapping sounds before she goes off but the programming is still there.

I believe we all have old thatís.

While we may not be able to rewire our brains overnight to disconnect the thisís to the thats, as we mature and friends come alongside us in love to help us recognize patterns, slowly we can surrender our old hurts to the Lord and receive healing; fully and completely .

In the meantime, we need to show grace to our wounded friends, even when they turn and penetrate our souls with Ďfriendly fireí. We need to recognize that itís not us they are angry at (even if they donít see it for themselves yet); they are reacting to old snapping towels from their past.

Each situation will bring unique circumstances that need to be handled differently. No matter what, in moments like these, we need to go to them in love. Hurts typically only get that deep when inflicted by those who should have loved and protected them. So, as sisters, itís up to us to give them an extra measure of grace in order to help them build trust. Itís not easy. Not to those reaching out nor to the deeply wounded soldier trying to rebuild their life.

Thankfully, the Lord will take our thats and transform us until we are controlled by His Spirit, not the this's.

Until then, just keep remembering that This is about That and donít take it personally. And, never go outóeven to a Bible Studyóbefore you put on your whole armor of God. It's a spiritual battlefield out there!

(Then there's the Theses and the Those's . . . don't even get me started on Them!)

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This article has been read 369 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 04/27/13
Thank you for this great reminder. I found myself responding to a "that" just yesterday. I am so thankful for a patient husband who put his arm around me, despite the porcupine prickles, and loved me anyway. I really like how you showed the experience through the eyes of a rescue dog. You gave us a lot to think about in this article.
lynn gipson 04/27/13
Great entry. Your message came through loud and clear. Very well written. Thanks for sharing this, I needed to read it!
Virgil Youngblood 04/27/13
Thoughtfully written with loving advice. Well done.
Cheryl Harrison04/27/13
Great message. I agree... it's almost always about "THAT". I loved your ending! Great job.
Judith Gayle Smith04/27/13
A powerful message wrapped up with a smile. Your writing never fails to satisfy . . .
Ellen Carr 04/27/13
Your article is insightful and true. It is a good reminder to think about what 'thats' might be influencing people who have outbursts and to be forgiving.
Cinda Carter04/28/13
I loved the way you related the this to the that and how it is so, true we sometimes don't realize when we lash out it's all about the that's. I will remember this. Your quote at the end was very timely. It made me laugh.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/28/13
Wow what an intense piece. You grabbed me with the barrage line. I felt tears well up in my eyes as I read this powerful piece.

Tiny red ink with some punctuation errors like Ladies' Fellowship. I'll admit that I'm not sure about the plural of this and that, but sometimes you used an apostrophe s and sometimes not. The last thing is to save your exclamation points for dialog or use sparingly. You do a great job of letting your words do your exclaiming for you like with the dog snapping. I could vividly picture the whole scene as it unfolded.

Those things are tiny like I mentioned though. You did a great job of taking the reader full circle. I really like how you started with not only an attention grabber, but also a story we can all relate to. The transition to your message was seamless and a powerful message at that. Great writing. I usually don't notice titles, but this one did catch my eye and was a perfect fit.
Alicia Renkema04/29/13
Thank you for this much needed piece for all of us in the body of Christ today. I think it is fair to say we've all been on the giving and receiving end of making a "this" a "that." This is very true (unfortunately, but peoples is peoples as my pastor says) and much maturity is needed to give grace all around. This is very well written as well, you did a great job at keeping the "tongue twister" into something the reader could track with easily also.
Sheldon Bass 04/29/13
Great stuff here. Yes, a battlefield for certain, and spiritual knowledge is our best defense, understanding our own idiosyncrasies. Jesus is highly qualified to operate on our inside(: I think your content is something that really needs to be addressed and talked about, especially for the younger generation coming up today. Great to hear you rescued your dog! Abandoned or abused animals is one of my big causes that I care deeply about. One suggestion is the gender indicating reference to "sisters". This could cause a male reader to feel a bit left out. Thank you for including us old soldiers at the end. That old adage about time and wounds is not always so. Some might think this entry sounds a tad preachy, but I like preachy, it's how I grow. I enjoyed this completely, good work.
Bea Edwards 05/01/13
You wrote a fine piece about our imperfections rearing their ugly heads, at times when we least expect it. Thank you for this entertaining reminder.