A Gentle Heart.
The sweet cover and sweeter title caught my attention while perusing a booth at the Country Living Fair. While everyone around me was grasping for the latest trends in decorating, My eyes scanned for the sweet and old and overlooked.
I cracked open the book to look for pictures. It fell open on Religion is love.
That is when I decided to buy it. Six dollars.
Turning the page…..
“We should all try to learn the lesson of gentleness in our homes. It is the lesson that is needed to make the home-happiness a little like heaven’s.” pg 15
On the long drive home, I pulled it out and began reading it. Sharing some passages aloud.
“Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to all true character” pg 5
“This world needs nothing more than it needs gentleness. All human hearts hunger for tenderness. We are made for love-not only to love, but to be loved. Harshness pains us. Ungentleness touches our sensitive spirits as frost touches the flowers. It stunts the growth of all lovely things.
We naturally crave gentleness. It is like a genial summer to our life. Beneath its warm, nourishing influence beautiful things in us grow.
Then there always are many people who have special need of tenderness. We cannot know what secret burdens many of those about us are carrying, what hidden griefs burn like fires in the hearts of those with whom we mingle in our common life. Not all grief wears the outward garb of mourning; sunny faces ofttimes veil heavy hearts. Many people who make no audible appeal for sympathy yet crave tenderness they certainly need it though they ask it not -as they bow beneath their burden.” pg 9
“We can never do amiss in showing gentleness. There is no day when it will be untimely.; there is no place where it will not find welcome.” pg 11
“If in the midst of all our duties, cares, trials, joys, sorrows, we are not day by day growing in sweetness, in gentleness, in patience, in meekness, in unselfishness, in thoughtfulness and in all the branches of love, we are not learning the great lesson set for us by our Master in this school of life.
We should be gentle above all to those we love the best.” pg 17-18
These words written not five years ago nor forty-five but 121 years ago.
The message here tugged on my heart…..Gentle Heart. Do I always have one? Are my words filtered with kindness? Especially at home.
“There is need for the lesson of gentleness in homes. There love’s sweetest flowers should bloom. There we should always carry our purest and best actions. No matter how heavy the burdens of the day have been, when we gather home at nightfall we should take only cheer and light. No one has any right to be ungentle in his own home. If he finds himself in such a mood he should go to his room till it has vanished.” pg 14
I chuckled at this last line. We would all be spending a lot of time in our rooms, I think.
“It is not a matter of small importance – something merely that is desirable but not essential……Gentleness is essential in every true Christian life….Therefore the lesson must be learned. The golden threads must be woven into the texture.” pg 28
“See that no day passes in which you do not make yourself a somewhat better creature We must school ourselves to be thoughtful. patient, charitable, and to desire always to do good.” pg 29
It sounds so impossible to obtain. Doesn’t it?
“It is a comfort to us to know that the lesson has to be learned, and does not come as a gift or something bestow. We must learn to be gentle.” pg 27
“We never can learn the lesson ourselves alone….. We need more than training and self-discipline. Our heart must be made over before it will yield the life of perfect lovingness…. The gentleness that the New Testament holds up to us as the standard of Christian living is too high for any mere human attainment. We need that God shall work in us to help us to produce the lovingness….And this divine co-working is promised. “The fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness.”
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
The Holy Spirit will help us to learn the lesson, working in our heart and life the sweetness of love, the gentleness of disposition, and the graciousness of manner which will please God.” pg 30
This is nothing new to us, but just a simple and beautiful reminder, to bring in Christlike qualities into our lives, to ask for help. To practice them. To have a Gentle Heart in all things.
Perhaps my favorite paragraph. Because we want to be Christlike but fall short…..and God picks up where we leave off….
“When we toil and strive in the name of Christ to learn our lesson of endless, and yet grow disheartened and weary because we learn it so slowly, Christ himself comes, and puts on our canvas the touches of beauty which our own unskilled hands cannot produce.” pg 31
When I picked up this book, I was disappointed there were no pictures. But what a gift I found. Words from 2000 years ago, written again to reach those 120 years ago and still relevant today to you and to me.
Me maybe more…..
I was sitting here typing this blog and Kevin hobbled in here asking about an email and I shooed him off. Just like that. Even as I typed these words on being gentle.
I’m struck by the irony of that, and thankful these words found their way to me and I found a way to point at myself for falling short.