Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Gentleness Henri Nouwen

  I have signed up for these daily thoughts from HenrI Nouwen  Society and was  moved by today's thought enough to want to share it

"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."

 Henry Nouwen   here



  1. Thank for sharing this, Charles. Absolutely true- and though society may ADMIRE hard-driven, tough "achievers" who get things done fast, the greatest need amongst ordinary people is for acceptance, love, understanding, especially when the traditional support system- the family- is so under threat these days. I often think, in their instistence on speed, a hard, target-driven attitude, and often uneceassary beaurocracy and "work for the sake of work," many employers may be missing out on people who can bring other qualities; much needed qualities, to a job. But then employers are being "driven" too!!!!
    "A gentle person knows that growth requires nurture, not force," How very true! People wrongly associate gentleness with weakness and see it as a "feminine" attribute in a world where even women in work are expected to have the more "masculine" characteristics of toughness. Society needs to acknowledge that gentleness is a very real strength.

    Jesus was strong and masculine- he worked as a carpenter. But he was gentle. Gentle people often carry a heavy burden because they care so much for people, often it may bring them criticism from "authorities"- and that takes courage. We read how Jesus defended people against the tough and unfeeling attitudes of the Pharisees. To see the potential in others and nurture it, and to defend others who are being mis-treated by "authorities" that is the fruit of true gentleness and true strength .

  2. I agree so much with what you write Pauline Thanks!