Covering the Weak Spots
At nine years old, I told my mom I hated dance and was going to play baseball. Her dreams of me being a girly-girl disappeared as I embraced my inner tomboy. I was the only girl on my baseball teams for three years and honestly, I was tougher than most of those boys.
Because of my gender, I was already viewed as lesser by many of the guys and quickly learned that showing any sign of weakness made me a fast and easy target. If I was going to be considered an equal on the ballfield, I had to grit my teeth, take the literal hits from the ball, and earn my place on the team.
I’ll never forget the time I struck out, but the catcher missed the ball, and I had the opportunity to steal first. With all my might I ran down the baseline. Almost to the base I felt an intense sting on my right shoulder as the catcher threw the ball to the first baseman and I was in the way. The ball hit so hard my family was able to see the threads of the baseball and read the words “Little League” imprinted in the black and blue bruise on my back. But no matter the pain, I had something to prove, and nothing stopped me from pushing through.
Whether I cared to admit it then or not, those hits hurt, and when I finally got alone, tears leaked from my eyes. Self-protection sustained me for the moment. Pride covered hard hits I received. But the pain and hurt came to the surface when I was alone and finally free to express it.
This became the story of my life—put on my hard, outer shell and protect my tender, fragile heart. Everyone saw me as strong. Confident. Put-together. But inside I was weak. Struggling. Broken.
At youth camp one summer, a leader had us hold hands with the person next to us by interlocking our fingers. Then he said to break the embrace and look at our hands. The valley in between our fingers is the weakest, most vulnerable part of our hands. Then he had us interlock our fingers again. When we held each other’s hands, we protected the other person’s weakest spots and together we became stronger.
As I think about this picture, how much easier would most of my life have been if I was willing to let someone else see my weaknesses and help hold me up instead of keeping my struggles to myself and hiding all my pain? Self-protection made me feel alone. I created a world where no one was allowed to see my hurts and pains because I refused to be seen as weak.
But that’s not God’s way. The older I get, the more I realize that everyone has weak places where we are most vulnerable to attacks. I also see that the more we expose those weaknesses and are honest about them, the more others are willing to let their weak places shine.
I don’t want to hide the hits anymore. I want to interlock my fingers with other people. This life was never meant to be done alone. Let’s share our struggles and weaknesses, then protect one another by standing in solidarity against the flaming darts of the evil one. Ecclesiastes says that two are better than one. When we get knocked down, let’s invite someone in to help us up. Life looks better with friends.Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2022 Christy Adams
Kim Janine Ligon
Even Adam wasn’t alone too long. We are intended to pick one another up. When we focus on helping others the wonderful thing is we are helped in the process. You can’t extend your hand without receiving protection from the one who takes it.
You’re spot on, as always, my friend!
Beautiful-and so true. The harder the hurt the deeper it goes
Yes, you’re right about that one.