Tender Spot

 


NOTEBOOK

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

"I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people"
Vincent van Gogh
(1853-1890)

"Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."
 Alexander Pope
(1688-1744)

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world”
Anonymous

Introduction


Tender Spot is a special little corner on my website where I am placing anything that expresses loving concern for others — somewhere to go when you're feeling tender emotionally, and where tender thoughts are expressed that display empathy for the wounded and struggling.
You're welcome to send me something that you feel would be suitable for such a page, (in fact, please do), but on the understanding that it must be something that's solely written as opposed to the likes of pictures, and that I will only use what takes my fancy. In other words, what you send me might be good, but simply not what I'm particularly looking for, so please don't be offended if I don't use it. Even what I personally pop below may not fully live up to my intentions here given that I may not always be able to find what I'm really looking for, and given that I'm not a lover of platitudes — you know, that pie in the sky stuff. In other words, I'm looking for that which really speaks to the situation, that which bares its soul, that which speaks in defence of, and on behalf of, all who've been mistreated, and/or are deeply pained, and that above all, shows empathy, rather than those "pick yourself up..." or "smile and the world smiles with you..." quips or quotes, which while they have their place, (and are often used out of place, I might add), certainly aren't desired nor required here.

And hence the following comment I came across in an article by Mark Miller entitled "Pious Platitudes Turn Friends Into Tormentors" —

Platitudes are often ways of not entering into the actual suffering of the other person. They are ways of avoiding the intense emotional anguish that the other person feels. Tossing a platitude into the life of another is often a way of saying "Your suffering isn't all that important; get over it." And the implication is, "You are interfering with the daily routine of life."

And another comment I came across, this time by Renee Hendricks —

The truest measure of friendship, love, and humanity is the ability to reach out to that person who is feeling overwhelmed and is hurting. Not with platitudes and Bible verses but with genuine care and support.

And yet another, by Mary T. Kelly —

And then after the platitudes have been said and embedded solidly into the tired and frazzled minds of the wounded souls, the silence comes. The phone doesn’t ring, the emails stop, the texts stop texting...But there is no more precious gift we can give than the gift and time of our presence and ability to sit, be present and listen with no compulsion to fix or solve.




"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor to measure words but to pour them all out, just as it is, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Dinah Maria Craik her quote oft attributed to George Elliot by mistake (whose real name was Mary Anne Evans).

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."
Henri J.M. Nouwen

"It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light, it scattered the night, and made the day worth living."
Anonymous

“Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Instead of offering empathy, we often have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling.  Empathy, however, calls upon us to empty our mind and listen to others with our whole being."
Marshall Rosenberg

"There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment."
Robert Brault

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

"Make no judgements where you have no compassion."
Anne McCaffrey.

"Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up."
Jesse Jackson

"Charity sees the need, not the cause."
German Proverb

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

Leo Buscaglia

"Empathy depends not only on one's ability to identify someone else's emotions but also on one's capacity to put oneself in the other person's place and to experience an appropriate emotional response"
Charles G. Morris

"A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves."
Simone Weil

“The ocean is made of drops."
Mother Teresa

“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone.”
George Washington

"I believe that this neglected, wounded, inner child of the past is the major source of human misery."
John Bradshaw

"Sympathy is two hearts tugging at one load."
Charles Henry Parkhurst

"There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear."
Frank Tyger

"Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after."
William Shakespeare

"Simple explanations of the cause of emotional illness just don't exist, because we are all fearfully and wonderfully--and differently--made. To say that an emotionally ill person is totally and personally responsible for his or her problem because of personal choices and actions is tantamount to saying that someone with diabetes or heart disease chose to be ill. Personal responsibility plays a part in emotional illness, but in almost every case it is only one piece of the puzzle."
Dwight L. Carlson, M.D.

"The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of."
Charles Henry Parkhurst

"All great discoveries are made by men whose feelings run ahead of their thinking."
Charles Henry Parkhurst

"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."
Emily Dickinson

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."
Kahlil Gibran

"There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best."
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings."
Miles Franklin

"We are, many of us, a planet orbiting somebody's sun, unconscious of a lonely moon, orbiting our planet."
Robert Brault

"Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys."
Alphonse de Lamartine

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice."
Abraham Lincoln

"When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching."
Edward G. Bulwer Lytton

"No stranger to trouble myself, I am learning to care for the unhappy."
Virgil

"The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance."
Pablo Casals

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have."
Margaret Mead

"A torn jacket is soon mended, but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Sometimes the people who hurt us the most are people who were hurt more than us."
Philipos

"I'm not very good
At this Game called Life
For I've not learned to see children crying
Without feeling pain
For I've not learned to watch animals destroyed
Without wondering why
For I've not yet met a king or a celebrity
That I would bow down to
Or a man so insignificant
That I would use for a stepping-stone
For I've not learned to be a 'yes man'
To narrow minded bosses
Who quote rules without reason
And I've not learned to manipulate
The feelings of others
To be used for my own advantages
Then cast aside as I see fit
No, I'm not very good
At this Game called Life
And if everything goes well
Maybe I never will be."
Javan, American author and poet

"Where there is great love there are always miracles."
Willa Cather

"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being."
Tenzin Gyatso

"A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track... an inch between wreck and smooth, rolling prosperity."
Henry Ward Beecher

"People need loving the most when they deserve it the least."
John Harrison

"A stiff apology is a second insult. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt."
G.K. Chesteron

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
George Elliott

"The tears I feel today
I'll wait to shed tomorrow.
Though I'll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight:
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to talk
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My mouth cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
Yes, I'll keep my tears til later:
But my grief will never go."
Anne McCaffrey

"How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us."
Fred Rogers

“There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion, that if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble, drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.”
Henry Wadsworth


"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."
Dalai Lama

"The soul of conversation is sympathy."
Thomas Campbell

"Nothing increases the respect and gratitude of one man for another more than when he is heard exactly and with interest."
R. Umbach

"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not."
Samuel Johnson

"True friendship isn't about being there when it's convenient; it's about being there when it's not."

Unknown.

"A smile cures the wounding of a frown."
William Shakespeare 

"Kindly words, sympathizing attentions, watchfulness against wounding men's sensitiveness — these cost very little, but they are priceless in their value."
Frederick W. Robertson

"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Unsure of source

"Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another. "
Joseph Addison 

“A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded.” Tyne Daly

"Kindness is loving people more than they deserve."
Joseph Joubert

“A true friend
knows your weaknesses
but shows you your strengths;
feels your fears
but fortifies your faith;
sees your anxieties
but frees your spirit;
recognizes your disabilities
but emphasizes your possibilities.”
William Ward

"Where there's sorrow there's depth."
The Author

"Another's need is another's test."
The Author

"There are no two friends like empathy and sympathy."
The Author

"He cannot heal who has not suffered much,
For only a sufferer sorrow understands;
They will not come for healing at our touch
Who have not seen the scars upon our hands."
Edwin McNeill Poteat, Stigmata.

“Don’t let someone’s rough patch and consequent out of character behaviour give you the wrong measure of them.”
The Author

“Words are nice, but arms are always better.”
The Author

“Midst our loneliness, there are others who’re very lonely too, and the answer oft lying in the seeking.”
The Author

"Don’t let an indifferent breeze snuff the flame of your candle."
The Author

"Help is sometimes found in unexpected places."
The Author

"When all hope seems gone, miracles come into their own."
The Author

"Where love's not seen it's hardly been."
The Author


Christian Section

"And yet the fact remains that there is no conceivable way of proving that we love God other than by loving men. And there is no conceivable way of proving that we love men than by doing something for those who most need help."
William Barclay

"Little is much if God is in it."
Kittie J. Suffield

"Fits of depression come over the most of us. Cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy. 
There may be here and there men of iron to whom wear and tear work no perceptible detriment, but surely the rust frets even these; and as for ordinary men, the Lord knows and makes them to know that they are but dust.

Knowing by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means, being visited therewith at seasons by no means few or far between, I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts thereon, that younger men might not fancy that some strange thing had happened to them when they became for a season possessed by melancholy; and that sadder men might know that one upon whom the sun has shone right joyously did not always walk in the light.
It is not necessary by quotations from the biographies of eminent ministers to prove that seasons of fearful prostration have fallen to the lot of most, if not all, of them. The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
Charles Spurgeon

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." How often I think of that 'ought.' No sugary sentiment there. Just the stern, glorious trumpet call, OUGHT.
Amy Carmichael

"We must never minimize the suffering of another. Scripture's mandate to us is, "Weep with them that weep." (Romans 12:15, KJV) "
Billy Graham

"The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Kind words, kind looks, kind acts and warm handshakes, these are means of grace when men in trouble are fighting their unseen battles."
John Hall

"People often find to their horror that the most agonizing aspect of a painful trial is the well-meaning remarks and advice of fellow Christians."
Grantly Morris

The following poem by Helen Steiner Rice is called "Everyone Needs Someone"

People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim
Not on success or on worldly fame
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers
For only the knowledge that we're understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good
And we rob ourselves of life's greatest need
When we "lock up our hearts" and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life's completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones
and friends.

When feeling rejected by God, remember that He died for you warts and all, and that He knows how stubborn warts can be.

When tempted to think that God's not there, remember that His angels always are, and that they know you're mistaken.

When feeling devoid of strength to carry on, remember that God never expected you to carry your own burdens but to leave them with Him.
The Author

The following poem by May Riley Smith is called "Sometime."

Sometime, when all life’s lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o’er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us out of life’s dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans are right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

Then be content poor heart;
God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
we must not tear the close-shut leaves apart,—
Time will reveal the chalices of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly see and understand,
I think that we will say, “God knew the best!”


"He heareth the cry of the afflicted" (Job 34:28, KJV).

"Christ's death on Calvary came with a promise: You can trust Me."
The Author

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever"
(Ps 73:26, NLT).

The following hymn by Helen H. Lemmel is called "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!