I watch him walking toward the house and I can tell immediately what kind of day he's had. It's been a battle. I don't yet know the what's or who's, but I know he's been out there with that shield again, deflecting barbs and blows, trying to block out just a small, safe place where he can catch his breath before the next assault comes.
Though he has a sword, he's loathe to use it. He's not that kind of man. But that just means those who sense those sorts of things know he's unarmed. That vulnerability makes his attackers fight all the harder, using whatever weapons of offense they favor--pebbles of criticism, the sharp thrust of slander, or stinging arrows tipped with accusation. I know my warrior. When those attacks rise up, he doesn't fight back. Instead, he stands his ground--with nothing more than that shield.
He's tired now, and hungry. He's tired of defending himself. He's hungry for a soft word and a quiet space, and maybe a bowl of soup with still-warm bread.
Come inside, husband ... and leave your shield outside. You'll find no battles here.
And my heart yearned for him. --Song 5:4 (NKJV)