14 January 2012

Strong enough to be gentle

I attended Concordia-Seward while Pastor Greg Mech (now of Joplin, Mo.) was chaplain. Once in chapel he told the story of bringing home their second baby. The older child was very young and wanted to hold the baby. "He wasn't strong enough to be gentle," said the chaplain, so he took the older child in his lap first, then took the baby and held them both together.

Strong enough to be gentle, that is a rarity. The mother who snaps, the sister who snipes, the daughter who gripes, the yokefellow who knifes, the wife who torpedoes, the pot-shotter and the grenade-lobber and the bulldozer (I speak, I think it is obvious, of myself)--she is weak. She cannot control her anger, envy, cruelty, or malice.

But the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. Cunning, tyranny, provocation, humiliation, and wounding are works of the weak flesh. The one who is able to be gentle, whose words turn away wrath rather than being drawn into it or inflaming it, is the one whom He hath made mighty, and stronger than the strong.


Emommy said...

Don't know if you knew this, but today in Joplin, Missouri, Pastor Mech's congregation celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination and installation (the actual milestone occurred last July, but for obvious reasons, the celebration was postponed). And great illustration that you shared by Pastor Mech!

Emily Cook said...

Yes. That is strength.

If I'm gonna have it, He's gonna have to give it.