Gratitude Stories ~ Sufficient Armor

Greetings Dear Reader,

I recently posted about the idea of cutting off communication with those we love (Walls of Silence). Evidently this has touched several of you. I wished to respond with a response to you and a gratitude story. First, I would be clear that I am not claiming to have the answer to your situation. I do not know enough details nor do I have the answers to your specific needs.

Having walled others out and walled myself in, I do have some thoughts on the idea from the perspective of the one needing refuge. Having been walled out, I also have an understanding of the perspective of the one being rejected. I am getting ahead of where I wish to be, however. Let me begin with one of your comments:

I have been thinking about your comment about avoiding those who are harmful to you and how this should be done in the context of loving your enemies. I avoided my parents for a long time but now interact only with all guards up. Visits with them are mentally exhausting because of trying to always be on the look out for the ways they break down the man God would have me be.

I am not identifying anyone on purpose. If you wish public credit for your comment just let me know. This is just one example of the type of response I have gotten. Just after I read this. I read something in preparation for a book I am trying to finish the writing in month of November. This book is a deep dive into the study of Ephesians focused on application of the many things we can learn from this Epistle. So here is the gratitude story:

When I first arrived in the City of Refuge where I am dwelling for a time, some good people sat with me and expressed their thoughts on my needs for the spiritual part of my journey. One of them said this to me, “You understand how the armor of God works, you simply need to trust that it DOES work.” That touched me more deeply than I realized in the moment.

As I have attempted to reach out to the persons that have a similar impact to me as the individuals in the above quote, I have clung to the idea that the armor can protect me. When I allow it to, it does. When I focus on the necessity of showing the love of Christ with humility and peace, I can endure the repeated attempts to derail my pursuit of doing good. It is neither pain free nor is it pleasant. I have to go through the mental preparation to interact and then decompress afterward.

It has also taught me how to be more aware of how I impact others. It has helped me see the plank sticking out of my head and begin to learn how to not bash others with it. I am starting to see how my flaws harm others and instead of fighting it begun to look for ways to become a better man, a better follower of Christ.

The only offensive weapon in the armor of God is the “Sword of Spirit, which is the Word of God.” This is a mystical weapon in that it works better than we imagine. Like so many weapons in fantasy, however, it demands a price before it will work. This real living sword only works for us if it first pierces our own hearts. I have had to come to grips with the idea that until I get further in my own understanding of how this works, I need to realize that the rest of my armor will protect me and I can stay on the passive defensive stance for a bit.

When those I love say hurtful things to me, I must take in the truth and allow my armor to protect me from the rest. I must own my own failure and sin whilst loving those who assail me in humility and peace. I need grace and mercy from the Father so deeply that I dare not fail to give it to others. I am just beginning to see the import of the prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

As I said, I do not have the answer for your situation Dear Reader. What I do know is that when I allow someone to scream at me, swear at me, or even reject me and I focus on Christs deep desire to love them and heal them, “the aching may remain, but the breaking does not.”

I am praying for each of you that has responded. I love you and care about your pain. I also care about the pain that created the harshness in those who hurt you. None of us begin by wanting to damage those we love. We become those that damage others when we fail to wield love in humility and grace. We harm others when we do not stand strong in our faith that the love of Christ is sufficient to protect us from all things. Please keep talking to me. I love you Dear Reader and you are part of my gratitude story that says, “His armor is sufficient for you.”

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, “That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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Originally published at aramisthorn.blogspot.com on November 12, 2018.

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