What is gentleness? Is it a weakness of character when one chooses “to be soft”? I asked the Lord these questions and He gave me an opportunity to learn by experience…
Last Saturday, I took some newly purchased clothes over to my parent’s house for my mother to try on so she wouldn’t have to enter stores at this very strange time. As she and I “set up shop” in her bedroom, I helped her in and out of each outfit, one of them being a potential rehearsal dinner dress for my daughter Emmy Baxter‘s wedding in a few weeks. Due to my mom’s ongoing back pain and unsure footing, I had to be very gentle with her as I placed, pulled, zipped and buttoned each outfit. Every touch of mine had tender love within it. (A little history concerning my mother and me: Fifty years ago, when I was 3, 4, 5, and 6 years old, my sweet momma would gently rub lotion all over my little legs because they itched and itched and itched due to being badly burned as a toddler. Her strength was my security in this ongoing healing process). It is an honor to zip her dress.
Interestingly, only hours later in the day, I went home to the future bride. She too, needed my help as she wanted to try on her wedding gown with her newly purchased jewelry. Again, I carefully repeated the dressing process…another moment in time to cherish.
After Saturday’s hand’s-on lessons and also digging into His word, here is what I wrote in my journal:
–Gentleness displays powerful love.
–Gentleness is partnered with wisdom. (James 3:13-17)
–Gentleness is administered appropriately and selflessly.
–Gentleness is not a weak attribute; rather, it is a carefully-distributed-strength.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).”
Isn’t it interesting that the same God-Man who had the power to calm a raging storm with three words (“Hush, be still”) chooses to describe Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart”? Was He a push-over? No, remember He CHOSE to lay His life down for you and me. He humbled Himself, and emptied Himself, so that He could walk beside us. Like a strong arm around our shoulders, He pours his Spirit inside of us and whispers encouraging words to us as we walk out our days. He has committed Himself to us, step by step.
I think you would agree with me in saying that our world needs a little gentleness right now. Who knew that 2020 would hold such harsh chaos? First disease, now destruction. Is there someone in your world, or maybe even outside your comfortable world, that you could touch with the gentleness of Christ? Who do you need to put your arm around and walk alongside of for a while? Ask God to put someone on your heart. Allow the Spirit to speak and then follow through today. Do not wait…because great healing can come from the power of gentleness.
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35