Answer Gently

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – (Proverbs 15:1, NIV)

A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow. – (Proverbs 15:1, ERV)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels. – (Proverbs 15:1, TLB)

 

Both my mother, and her mother before her, modeled this verse in action for us growing up. On countless occasions, I witnessed each of them diffuse situations, simply by meeting someone kindly, who was engaging with them in a way that did not begin on the kindest of terms. Their smile and genuine love for people would soften the hardest of hearts, and win over the grumpiest of characters. For me, more times than not, a gentle response to a child escalated in the classroom, has provided them room to calm down or breathe long enough to avoid further incident. Walking this road to recovery with mom is no different. Losing mobility, freedom and independence, for a strong, self-sufficient, care-giver like mom, has got to be beyond frustrating. She is handling it gracefully 99% of the time, and it is my charge to be extraordinarily gentle through the 1%, when her frustration gets the better of her. Gentle words affirming her frustration, yet recognizing her strength and progress, have been pivotal in working through moments of challenge. Humor has been a lifeline as well. Thankfully, we know each other better than anyone else, so a mere look speaks volumes, and can inspire giggles in an instant, even in moments of madness.

Much of the reason she is not feeling ready for visitors, (other than the very short list of family and lifelong friends whom have already been in contact), is her own desire to uphold a spirit of gentleness and kindness, as she cannot wrap her head around not being able to be the gracious host that she normally would be. Please continue to be patient with her willingness to see visitors, as I imagine she will become more willing as she is more confident and settled back in her own space.

Today will be the first official day of in-home therapies, as physical therapy kicks off this afternoon at 1pm. We are eagerly awaiting phone calls from the occupational therapist, speech therapist and nursing care facilitator, to figure out what the schedule will be for them as well. Yesterday was a very relaxing day, as mom and I enjoyed watching a few movies between meals, stretching and rests, after the fellas went home. This week will be busy, as we work to discover a new normal with appointments coming into the home to aid in mom’s recovery. May we ever rely on the Lord to be gentle with those around us, for kindness keeps anger at bay.

 

No matter what comes, photo

Be gentle and kind;

For we do not know,

Battles deep inside.

So often anger,

Is hurt or a fear;

Set free by kindness,

If love braves draw near.

Seek to have courage,

To always be kind;

Give love to others,

And true peace, you’ll find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a gentle answer turns away anger. Thank You that this is not simply a theory, but proven, time and time again. Thank You that Jesus modeled this for us throughout His life, death, resurrection and ascension. Forgive us for the times that our responses are not gentle or kind. Teach us to trust and rely on You to give us the wisdom and strength to be Your heart and voice to others, so that they may see Your love in the way that we respond. Show us how to love others well, as we choose to be gentle and kind to all, no matter how others speak or act toward us. Give us grace O God. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose kindness and love, just as You do with us. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – Galatians 5:22-23

More Than Anything, Choose Love

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, NIV) 

Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, CEB) 

Most of all, love each other as if your life depends on it. Love makes up for practically anything. – (1 Peter 4:8, MSG) 

 

We are called to love one another deeply, sincerely, as if our very life depended on it. The forgiveness that comes as a result of genuine love, makes peace possible and creates a culture within us to care well for others. Our capacity to love grows exponentially as we understand and accept the love that God has for us, individually. May we seek the Lord and receive all that He has to offer, so that we may go forth and love deeply, as love makes up for practically anything. 

 

More than anything, Enter With Thanksgiving

We need to choose love; 

From a sincere heart, 

Grace shall rise above. 

Love knows forgiveness, 

So freely, forgives; 

Grants hope to others, 

To rise in grace, live. 

What we are given, 

We often return; 

Let us seek God’s love, 

So perfect love’s learned. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love, as love covers over and forgives a multitude of sin. Thank You that You do not call us to do anything that You have not already done for us. Forgive us for the times that we have withheld forgiveness or love toward another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on Your grace and goodness to fill us and equip us to love at all times, even when it is difficult to love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your unending goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your heart to love deeply, just as You love us. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34

He Suffered for Our Sake

At first read, it is easy to feel angered at the chief priests and teachers of the law who mocked Jesus and sentenced Him to death.  However, when one stops to reflect for a moment, there is a realization that all of us are equally responsible for His suffering on the cross.  It was for all of our sins that He willingly chose to die, so that we would have a way to live.

“Jesus could have saved Himself, but He endured the suffering because of His love for us.  He could have chosen not to take the pain and humiliation; He could have killed those who mocked him – but He suffered through it all because He loved even His enemies.  We had a significant part in the drama that afternoon because our sins were on the cross too.  Jesus died on that cross for us, and the penalty for our sins was paid by His death.  The only adequate response we can make is to confess our sin and freely accept the fact that Jesus paid for it so we wouldn’t have to.  Don’t insult God with indifference toward the greatest act of genuine love in history.” – (NIV footnotes for Mark 15:31)

In light of His  great love for us, may we respond passionately to the plans and purposes He has prepared for each of our lives.  Our greatest expression of gratitude is a life that is lived well, loving God and loving people.  As we seek to love as we are loved, we are honoring Him, and demonstrating our appreciation for all that He has done for us.  The more I know Him, the more I long to know.  When I love, I feel His love poured out upon me.  It is amazing how He works, as He blesses each heart with His presence and His peace, as He is earnestly sought.

How great is the grace,He Suffered for Our Sake

that forgives our sin?

How great is the love,

grants new life again?

To choose to endure,

He suffered for me;

the weight of my sin,

He bore on that tree.

Done not just for friends,

but also for foe;

such great love for all,

that daily, He shows.

The sun keeps rising,

the stars shine at night;

beauty surrounds us,

our Father’s delight.

May we give Him thanks,

by choosing love well;

show others His grace,

so they too may tell.

Dear Jesus, thank You for willing enduring such horrendous suffering on the cross, so that we could come to know You.  Thank You that though You could have claimed Your position and authority in that very moment, You chose to suffer for our sake instead.  Thank You does not even begin to scratch the surface for the gratitude our hearts should hold.  Forgive us for forgetting just how significant Your sacrifice was for us, and help us to live accordingly.  May our life be lived in love as an ongoing offering of thanks and praise.  Though we cannot earn nor repay even a fraction of what You have done, we can respond in gratitude everyday by loving You and loving those around us, just as You love us.  Be glorified, O God, in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8