The gentle way

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Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:  Look, my Servant whom I chose, the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure. I’ll put my Spirit upon him, and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles. He won’t argue or shout, and nobody will hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bent stalk, and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick, until he makes justice win. And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name. ~Matthew 12:15-21 (CEB)

Sometimes we think that there are only two ways to respond to things in life, either with violence or passivity. But Jesus came to earth to show us that there is a third way to respond that is neither submission nor assault, neither fight or flight. This third way is gentleness which allows us to oppose without mirroring the evil we see, resist without emulating the oppressors and neutralize without destroying. Living out this gentle way requires imagination and creativity. Living out gentleness sometimes requires that we look between the blacks and whites of this world to see all the shades of gray.

Challenge me this day O Lord, to live in the shades of gray. Help me to remember to stop and doodle in the sand in the midst of heated conflict. If I must carry a load give me the strength to go beyond the required mile. Help me to woo others with Your love through creativity and imagination, not by force and by strength. Amen.

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