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Around Our Town...Gentle Virtues

Mightiness In Gentleness

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02/01/2006 - Noah Webster defines being gentle as being peaceable, soothing, mild and not turbulent or harsh. Who comes to your mind as being gentle? A family member? Friend? Pastor? School teacher? I think of my mom.

My mom has won my respect and lifelong friendship by her gentleness. She is my role model.

Through her actions and tone of voice, she prepared me for one particularly challenging day. I, a teenager at the time, was manning our family motel office. A customer who had stayed with us before came in for a room. We had just finished remodeling and had raised our price four dollars. This large man, a former professional boxer, was livid about the price increase. Repeatedly, he smacked his fist loudly into his hand — not far from my face. Each of his quick punches appeared as a blur. I felt helpless, not to mention terrified. What was I to do?!

The next moment I was compelled to slip my trembling hand into his large, threatening hand, look gently into his firey eyes and speak to him softly. A miracle happened. Tears pooled in his eyes and he poured out his heart to me.

In the end, he not only happily paid the new price, he returned with the largest Valentine box of candies I had ever seen. It had an $18.00 sticker price on it!

Gentleness is purposeful, whether it comes naturally or by choice. To be gentle does not mean to be weak. Gentleness requires a person to have some strength from within. Every time we exercise self-control, we strengthen our inner character and make it a little easier to be gentle in our next interaction.

Gentleness yields powerful results. Gentle interactions help repair and strengthen family bonds. A gentle countenance can help heal lacerated nerves. A gentle word turns away wrath. I no longer have that Valentine box but I still keep that incident as a reminder — There is mightiness in gentleness.

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