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?