Handle with Care
Nothing is more exciting than welcoming a new baby into the family. There’s so much anticipation, as everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of their new family member. It’s no secret, new born babies are pretty helpless when they arrive. They need help with just about everything and they don’t come with directions, except for the obvious – “Handle with Care”. New dads are often pictured holding their first born with extreme gentleness, afraid they might break the child.
Our little grandnephew just recently welcomed his new baby brother into the family. Instantly, he went from being the “baby” of the family to being the “big” brother. This can be a very new and overwhelming experience for a boy who’s not even three years old. Suddenly, he becomes aware of his strength and the baby’s weakness. Wow! This is something new and often leads to a lot of testing and learning. Most of all, he’s learning a word his mom uses a lot now – Gentle. It’s typically repeated several times for emphasis. Gentle, Gentle, Gentle.
Gentleness is difficult to describe. Most people will say gentleness is being gentle, but what exactly does that mean? I like to think of it as a calm, tender, touch of kindness.
Gentleness is a choice. It’s not required or forced upon anyone. We can choose to handle others with care and kindness or not.
Gentleness is purposeful. It’s intent is to bring a person back to a place of strength.
Gentleness is for the strong. It is only needed when we are in a position of power and strength, with the ability to bring harm to others.
We’re not always the strong one. We all experience times of weakness and vulnerability. When feeling weak, we should hope and ask for gentleness from others. When strong, we should choose to show gentleness to others.
Last week, I observed gentleness in one of my sons. It wasn’t the oldest. This time it was the younger brother. His brother had asked to borrow his car, but he replied that the car was not in good condition. Later, he realized his brother was driving the car anyway. He considered his brother’s situation and empathized. He understood it was out of need, that his brother drove the car. He thought about how much he loved his brother and how much his brother loved him. Rather than get upset, he chose to respond with gentleness and did something unexpected. He invited his brother to dinner and offered him his good car. Wow!
Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all, for the Lord is near.