My observation of a barrel cactus in full spine led me to think how true it is of people, too. So many people protect themselves with spines: anger,hostility, suspicion, overt confidence to cover insecurity. Spines on a cactus protect the vulnerable flesh and interior of the plant, but when we cover ourselves with spines to keep others from getting close, we deprive ourselves of the very thing we want to have: intimacy.
I wonder if God’s love may be the one thing, our certainty in His love for us and finding our identity and assurance in that love, that allows us to be “spine-less” in relationships. I know I want to be a succulent, not a prickly pear, even as painful as some nibbles may be, and I’ve endured outright bites. I’d rather NOT be a cacuts, but a succulent, to allow intimacy and relationship to bring human love and friendship, those “dangerous” close encounters, into my life. God created us to need relationship; I will brave the nibbles to give it and receive it. Lord, let me be spineless!