Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Learning Gentleness with Ivy

Bananas are Ivy's favorite fruit. Ivy also has sharp canine teeth and strong jaw muscles. Ivy could chomp down on my fingers in a rush to get that piece of banana but she is considerate of me, being careful not to bite my fingers. Notice in the video when my fingers are in her mouth she drops her piece of banana because she doesn't want to out pressure on my hand and hurt me! A very welcomed expression of gentleness from my perspective!

Yes, today's fruit of the Spirit is gentleness.

Translated straight from the original Greek language into English of today, gentleness is "the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one's self-importance." (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament-Third Edition. Frederick William Danker. pg 860)

Gentleness is relating to others with humility, consideration, and care. Gentleness is doing what we do with special consideration for another's well-being.

Gentleness is holding the door open for someone and taking special care to ensure the way is clear and there is nothing to snag their clothes on or trip over as they cross the threshold.

Here is a fun example; gentleness is a game of Jenga; removing one game piece with special consideration for the structure as a whole.

Gentleness is a logging operation that leaves a patch of valuable timber uncut out of consideration for a rare species of bird that calls that forest home.

Gentleness is a Veterinary Technician doing a procedure on a dog or cat in a way that reduces pain and discomfort during their visit to the Vet Clinic.

Gentleness is Ivy taking a piece of banana from me in a way that shows special consideration for the well-being of my fingers.

Gentleness is all of us relating to all things in a way that shows special consideration for the well-being of others.

Gentleness is a gift from God; another fruit of the Spirit that God nurtures in our hearts.

As we seek to relate to all that has life with gentleness it is important to do everything we do with special consideration for others; treating not just individuals with gentleness but also treating the places that wildlife call home with gentleness. What does it look like to interact with wild spaces (different habitats, ecosystems, swamps, marshes, forests, fields, rivers, lakes, etc.) with gentleness? What does it look like to treat all of our neighbors, people as well as all other living things with a spirit of gentleness?

As we long for God to nurture more gentleness in us that it might be spread abroad through our living let us pray...

Change the desires of my heart, loving God, so it beats in tune with yours; and may the changes you're bringing about within me find expression in my living.

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