“Jesus who dwells in the very depths of our hearts doesn’t shout. He doesn’t thrust Himself upon us. His voice is an unassuming voice, very nearly a whisper, a voice of gentle love.” Henri Nouwen
This morning as I read the above quote from the last chapter in “Letters to Marc” by Henri Nouwen, which is a wonderful, small, full of great truths, real keeper of a book, and one well worth reading, what came to mind once again is my opinion, that the God who holds galaxies in place, really is a perfect gentleman. It continues to blow me away that He who could wipe all humanity out with a single command, still waits and asks to be invited into our lives.
So having had this recurring thought of God as being a perfect gentleman I decided to ask Mr. Google to answer this question, “How might a perfect gentleman behave? “ Without adding my own spiritual thoughts or slant to some of the answers I found, I thought instead I’d share them for you to perhaps ponder yourself?
A Gentleman is a person who…….
- Holds open a door as they wait for another person to go through it.
- Plans ahead, often making reservations.
- Might well share their jackets or coats, especially if the weather is wet or cold.
- Arrives on time.
- When someone new enters a room they acknowledge that person by standing up.
- Give compliments sincerely, and often.
- Say’s “please” and “thank you”
- Holds a chair out, waiting until the other person is sitting before doing so themselves.
- Gives up their seats, to provide seating and comfort for others.
- Pays for the meal.
- Makes sure to see a person all the way safely home to their own front door.
- Listens well and who can be utterly trusted with any stories shared.
- Pays attention to individual likes and dislikes.
- Is dependable, respectful, honest, comforts well, and is compassionate.
- Strives to make those they may be serving as comfortable as possible.
- Goes out of their way to let the love of their life know that they care about them, every, single, day.
- In order to provide protection, often walk on the outside of a path nearest the curb.
(I left this one till last as I wanted to share how in Pasadena last March, our son Philip did this exact thing several times by way of having me change places as we walked along some streets so that he was a barrier between me and some individuals who were exhibiting some not very nice behavior…thank you again, our gentle, kind son.)
I guess part of my own challenge then is how can I display some of these gentlemanly Christ-like qualities to others? How can I best serve others, how can I listen well, how can I share well, and more, so I was also thankful that in my reading this morning to be reminded that it’s not in my own strength, but His, and only by constantly abiding in Him that I can do these things…..
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
Galatians 5: 22-23, Message translation.
And so we pray….
“Father thank you that you who are God, you who holds galaxies in place, while also counting the very hairs on our heads forever, waits to be invited into our lives, thus never violating your gift to us of our free will and our freedom to answer your call to “follow you,” or not! Help us we ask, alongside the “telling” of our faith, to courageously, quietly, respectfully demonstrate it as well. Remind us to be wise to listen out for your, very nearly a whisper, voice of love which calls us to entrust you with all of our story, not only the parts which are on display. And thank you Lord that always your promise to us is to walk beside us and see us “home safe.” In Jesus name, we pray, Amen”
Yours in Him,