“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” – Philippians 4:5
Just a few months ago, our family welcomed a new member, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Bernie. Bernie is only a few months old, yet he’s already a hefty 70 pounds, with expectations of reaching 130-140 pounds in the near future.
There’s something fascinating and challenging about a creature that’s simultaneously big and a baby. Bernie doesn’t have dainty, little paws; he boasts big, sturdy ones. His teeth, far from being tiny, are large and powerful. When other animals, or even people, come near, his enthusiasm to play knows no bounds. The catch, however, is that he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of controlling his size and strength.
One day, as I glanced outside, I witnessed a comical yet insightful scene. Bernie had one of his colossal paws firmly planted on top of our cat, effectively pinning the poor feline to the ground. To Bernie, it was all in good fun—a playful interaction, complete with a thorough cat bath, as he meticulously licked every inch of the cat’s fur. But if you were to ask the cat about his experience, you’d sense a different sentiment: a plea for help, expressed through bewildered feline eyes.
In Bernie’s exuberance, he exemplifies a simple yet profound lesson for us all: the significance of gentleness paired with strength. Just like Bernie, who’s blissfully unaware of his colossal size, we sometimes possess a power within us that we might underestimate. This power can be used for good or ill, depending on how we wield it.
Gentleness doesn’t equate to weakness. Instead, it’s the art of using our strength, whatever form it may take, with care and consideration. It’s about recognizing that we have the capacity to influence others, for better or worse. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:5 that our gentleness should be evident to all because the Lord is near.
Embrace the strength you possess, whether it’s in your words, actions, or influence, and use it with a gentle touch. Be mindful of the impact you have on others and strive to make it a positive one. Just as Bernie has room to grow and learn, so do we. Let your gentleness shine through, revealing the strength under control, and reflect the love and grace of our Lord who is always near.