This post is not language related but alas it is the end of the year and this has been on my mind since I read it a few days ago. The following is a quote from Stanley Hauerwas’ memoir Hannah’s Child. It is an excerpt from the sermon he delivered at his father’s funeral commenting on his father’s gentleness and how that characteristic is an integral part of Christ’s Kingdom. My hope is that over the coming year I will find myself having “been gentled” as I follow Jesus.
“Part of the difficulty with the beatitudes is that some of the descriptions seem problematic to us — in particular, we do not honor the meek. To be meek, or gentle, is, we think, to lack ambition and drive. Gentleness, at most, is reserved for those aspects of our lives we associate with the personal, but it cannot survive the rough and tumble of ‘the world.’ Yet Jesus is clear that his kingdom is constituted by those who are meek and gentle — that is, by those who have learned to live without protection. Gentleness is given to those who have learned that God will not have his kingdom triumph through the violence of the world, for such a triumph came through the meekness of a cross.” – Stanley Hauerwas, (Hannah’s Child, pp.39)