Be honest…do you poke the sea anemones when you see them in tide pools at the beach? It’s sort of hard to resist. They’re so exotic and tropical, and their recoiling feature always makes me want to stick a shell in to their soft center so I can watch them curl up in a tight, protective ball. It’s probably against the rules to poke the sea anemones, but their sticky, retracting tentacles are pretty compelling.
Sometimes you and I share a commonality with sea anemones. We recoil and shut down when we’re threatened or touched. It’s not a bad thing; it’s actually a safeguard. It only becomes problematic when it’s time to open ourselves up again and we’re still crouched in a closed, defensive posture.
Sometimes we need to take the risk to open up again.
The natural response to hurt, misunderstanding, or wounding is to put up our guard and minimize our vulnerabilities; however, if we want to heal we will eventually need to open back up. We will need to release our hurts to the Lord, make peace with our past, forgive our offenders, and courageously stretch out again.
None of this is easy to do, but true love is never easy. It is always a selfless endeavor that stretches and challenges us, while pulling the greatness out of us.
Don’t let yesterday’s hurts keep you from today’s opportunities to receive, give, bless, and love. You will get hurt again, and you’ll retract like those pretty sea anemones. But after regrouping for a while make sure you bounce back and reach out one more time.
People are worth it.