Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jesus and Mary, Learning Gentleness

Today I reflect on what it means to be gentle. 

I think about how Mary cradled baby Jesus in her arms.  How he cooed as she held him and he tilted his head to the side and upward, and gazed into her wonderful eyes.  I think about how she knew she was holding the Savior of the world in her arms and maintained such admirable humbleness.

I reflect about how patient (and also angry) she must have been with Jesus when he ran off to the temple to his Father's house and she and Joseph could not find him.  I think about how she might have been frightened and yelled, as we do when we get upset, and as the fright wore off, she continued to be gentle as always.

How Jesus wept when he saw that Lazarus was dead, his voice quiet and low and breaking, even though he knew the end of the story and we do, too.

Maybe gentleness isn't always about an outward restraint of emotions, but about inward change, an inward state.  While outward actions, tone of voice, and choice of words can influence a gentle state of mind, today, gentleness at my core is my intention. 

I'd rather not pretend to have this quality, but to truly feel it inside.  That from this heart will come loving actions, a gentle tone of voice, and a kinder choice of words.  Today I wish to be restored to a gentle state, to act and speak from this place.  I'll imagine each person, including myself, as a child Jesus and be kind and patient with them.

What does gentleness mean to you?  Are there outward signs of an inwardly gentle person?


  1. It wasn’t until I was transformed into a new creation by the Holy Spirit that I learned how to be gentle…. Without that, I don’t think its possible to just make up our minds to be loving and gentle in our words and actions.
    Your post reminds me to appreciate the gift of gentleness I’ve received.

  2. I think gentleness has a lot to do with being present. That's how I've always experienced it in my life, especially from my mother. For me, presence means I can more simply and gently interact. Simplicity and presence.

  3. Sher, I agree that gentleness comes from God, and that God is the being that transformation comes from. It is a grace. (P.S. it is so good to see you back here!)

    Amber, Simplicity and presence-- well said. When we are aware of what's around us, we are less stressed (which I believe is a major cause of harshness). We can also feel gratitude for who we are with and where we are. Presence is a great word.. I'll add that to my reflection time (along with gentleness.) :)

  4. Gentleness to me is power harnessed by love. I believe Jesus embodies gentleness--He is the ultimate power harnessed by the ultimate love.

  5. Gentleness, for me is this post. And you. And kindness. How I wish I have it too. Mostly, I am so rude and impatient.

    I like how you describe Mary, and Jesus and how He wept for Lazarus. IT touched my heart :)

    And also, I think gentleness is the color of sky. Don't you think? ♥

  6. Gentleness. Something to strive for. What a beautiful post.

  7. Mary is truly an amazing and remarkable woman. I've come to appreciate her so much more after becoming a mother myself.

    Your writing voice is so strong! My soul is literally soothed by your gentle, inspiring and contemplative tone.

  8. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to make an iPhone cover with a picture of Mary or our Lord Jesus on it?