The Trap, Painted Papers Collaged Book, Marcia Carole
You know how you really aren’t your best when you are caught off guard? Well, I’m not. Thinking fast and feeling fast on my feet is a skill I work at, but I am not good at just yet. I marvel at the people who are so sharp and on; they have a quick, respectful response for any situation. Not me. I have to have time and preparation. (Maybe the quick responders have had this preparation!)
One counselor I had for a few years helped me to “pay attention” to how I was feeling in a conversation, so I could respond with those feelings. He taught me how to put my hand on my heart and say, “Pay attention, How am I feeling?”
You might think that is hokey-pokey, but for someone who has suppressed how they are feeling for years, it was needed for me. When one experiences trauma, one tends to go numb, and over a long period of time, one stops feeling anything. (Friends I have pierce their bodies so they can “feel” something. I get that.)
All this to say; preparation for a conversation, conflict, difficult situation is very much a help. In the passage I am currently collaging, Jesus was preparing for His next encounter(and the cross) by pulling away from the crowds and being alone in prayer and rest. He often did this. And this is where we find Him at the beginning of the story of the woman caught in adultery. He was coming down from the Mount of Olives at dawn, under the “shelter of God, the father’s wing.”
Jesus was homeless, a prayer champion with thoughtful, respectful, convicting responses for each encounter He had, on the way to the cross. If He needed time alone and in prayer, that speaks volumes to me. I’ve learned it is OK to say, “I need time to think and pray.” before I engage in a certain situation or activity. That’s a good, mature response. As my friend, Judy, says, Jesus’ honor is at stake” in the conversations and encounters we have. So, the preparation of prayer and rest, mulling over ideas and Scripture, getting under the shelter of God’s strong wing, is wise for doing our conversations well. And for getting out of traps.
The trap is about to be set for Jesus, but He is prepared.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1Peter 3:15