When Jesus finds them, many people are bruised reeds (Mt 12). Their sins, their addictions, their way of living may have come close to destroying them. They have at least destroyed their peace of mind. As a result of these wounds they may have acquired a bitterness and resentment which have produced further injury. Jesus did not crush the bruised reed. He came not as a judge, but rather as a healer and savior.
The smoldering wick is the person who has little love left. Once perhaps there was a flame. Once the person may have loved God. However there have been so many disappointments in life that trust has become almost non-existent and loving relationships almost impossible. The complete absence of love leads to a dark and lifeless spirit. No one can live without love. Jesus wants to fan the smoldering wick into flame again.
When I have been bruised, Lord, you treated me with gentleness. When I have been cold you showed me the love of your heart. Now, from time to time, I need to be reminded by you, of how you found me and what you have ever after done for me. Thank you for your loving care.