Anyway, as I have been answering and responding to these prompts, obviously I became very aware of the fact that "gentleness" has kept popping up. As someone who has studied JOY for years and who continues to study JOY, and who determined at the end of 2016 that the Lord was giving me "Lion" for my 2017 word, it continues to puzzle me as to why "gentleness" has suddenly become something the Lord keeps laying on my heart.
I honestly do feel as if I can give myself a 7 or 8 out of 10 on a "gentleness scale." I feel like I try to be gentle and loving to all around me. I have moments, as anyone does, when I lose my temper and roar like a lion a little, but I still feel that I can say that I am more gentle than not.
The definition of "gentleness," straight from dictionary.com is:
I feel like I'm kindly and amiable--gentle in manner--with those around me. Yes, I can get really sarcastic and snarky, but it's all in good fun...isn't it???
I don't think I'm severe, rough, or violent. Again, I am quite often pretty sarcastic, but I honestly don't believe that being sarcastic makes me severe, rough, or violent. When students need me--need my help on an assignment or anything, really, I do everything in my power to work with them and to be as kind as I can possibly be--without letting them make excuses or get away with not doing the work. I try to discuss a fair compromise so that the student benefits--but I don't get stuck trying to show favoritism or even being "severe."
So then, why is God putting "gentleness" in my heart lately? What is He trying to tell me? To teach me? To show me? To get me to do? Or be? In all honesty, I'm struggling with this one. If you know me and have any thoughts or would like to join me in prayer regarding my discovering what God wants me to understand when it comes to "gentleness," I invite your thoughts, ideas, and especially your prayers.
You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. ~ 1 Peter 3:4
1 Peter 3:4New Living Translation (NLT)
4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1. How would you rate your level of gentleness? I have never thought about gentleness in terms of “rating my level of” it. Hmmmmmm. I suppose that if I would rate my level of gentleness on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most gentle and 1 being least gentle, I’d have to give myself around 7 or 8. In recent years, I have dealt with extreme rage and I am still working on giving that to God and not getting overly worked up. I’m better than I was even just a year ago, but it’s still something that can rear its ugly head if I don’t stay in the Word or seeking Him every single day.
2. How do others see you? How would they describe you? I think that others see me as very gentle, at least my students do. Those who know me best and who are around me outside the classroom are very aware of how easily I can lose my temper. But I think they are all also aware of the fact that I have come a long way and I am much more gentle now than I’ve ever been. I know they receive a lot more hugs than they used to!!!! ;)
Technique: 5 Minute Sprint
Write for 5 minutes about the word Gentleness. Write continuously without stopping.
Gentleness: I’ve honestly never given the word “gentleness” much thought beyond using it casually in conversation and/or in writing. I know that of the several times I have been in the hospital, the gentleness and loving care of my doctors, nurses, CNAs, etc. have all gone a long way in helping keep me calm during each procedure/surgery. While every single care giver has always been very gentle and quite wonderful, I have to say that the male nurses in particular have always been the most gentle. I don’t know if their instructors spend time teaching them that they have to be aware of the fact that they are much stronger than they may realize and how to have such a gentle touch, but I have been highly impressed with the gentleness of the male nurses I have had. This last time I was in the hospital (I had my gall bladder removed), the first nurse I had in recovery—as soon as I woke up from surgery—was not as nice as I have been used to. She wasn’t mean, but when I started crying and just wanted someone to hold my hand for a moment, she told me to calm down, I was alright, and that she had two patients to take care of—she didn’t have time to hold my hand. Thankfully I was too drugged still and under the effects of the anesthesia to allow her words or her tone to sink in too deep, but it is interesting to note that even more than a month later, I still remember her lack of gentleness and compassion with me. I have had a large number of amazingly gentle and compassionate nurses and others in the health care field, but that one nurse just really hurt my feelings. All I wanted was for someone to hold my hand for just a moment while I woke up and calmed down.
Evaluate: Write one or two sentences that sum up what you have discovered after completing your sprint and questions.
No matter how gentle the majority of people are around us, it only takes one non-gentle person to make me feel less than. I need to keep reminding myself of all the wonderful health care individuals who have cared for me with amazing gentleness and tender loving care.
- The nurse immediately after waking up from my first D&C who held my hand and shared her own story of loss and crooned soft words of comfort to me until I quit crying.
- Every single person who came to my son’s funeral—the gentleness and care of their hugs and loving kindness still makes my heart feel full to bursting.
- The care and gentleness of everyone involved when we lost our firstborn to stillbirth. Since I still go to the doctor who delivered our precious James Isaac, clearly he and his team were gentleness personified.
While I have never really taken time to think carefully about gentleness beyond using it casually in conversation or writing, it is clear that gentleness is something I find very important in the people around me—especially in those who care for me—in the health-care field as well as my loved ones.