So lately the words aren’t moving through my head, but today while cleaning away more clutter I found this passage written by Henri Nouwen from Bread for the Journey in my desk. Words I needed to hear emerged from my clutter on a piece of scrap paper and I wanted to share them. My sincere thanks to Henri Nouwen for his words.
Dressed in Gentleness
Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.
Gentle is the one who does “not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick” (Matthew 12:20). Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let’s dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us.
A reminder to me of a virtue I hope to be measured by…trying not to let my self perceived failures get the best of me…success is fickle, relative, and not always assessed by what matters most.