Chapter for FRUIT for Alabaster Co. – Purchase the Book here.
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:20
In a place of great need or desire, it is tempting to grasp, exploit others, or strive and push to get ahead. Our culture’s expression might be, “Blessed are the forceful, because they get what they want.”
Alternatively, pain can make us bitter. Because of our pain, we burrow deeper in our shell, convinced we don’t deserve gentleness, and neither do others. The callousness prevents the reciprocal stream of gentleness. If force is the antithesis of gentleness, callousness is its close friend.
The woman with the issue of blood had every reason to be loud, assertive, and entitled; pushing and forcing her way to a healing Savior. After 12 years of suffering, she was desperate. And desperation can be a reckless driver. But it was her humility and Gentleness in the face of her greatest need that brought her healing. Gentleness beautifully paired with self-control. The gentle touch broke through the multitude pressing on Jesus from every side. A gentle touch that stood out above all the others because of its intent.
When Paul mentions Gentleness as a fruit, he uses the Greek word, prautes, which has the same root as the word Jesus uses in Matthew 5 to describe those who will inherit the earth: Blessed are the meek (praus). Praus is hard to translate because the English language lacks a word for gentleness expressed in power, but that is precisely what it means. When we let Gentleness guide difficult scenarios, it brings with it a compounded strength and a constellation of virtues. Mindfulness, forgiveness, a selfless orientation, and a deep consideration for those around you. Emotions are tempered and grounded. A kind of rest is entered into, signifying a release of control. Hidden within this complex virtue is a promise: Blessed are the gentle, for they will inheritthe earth. The mysterious core of Gentleness is this idea of inheritance. We don’t need to furiously strive or push our way to healing, success, or power.