I’m sitting here, waiting for a muse to descend shrouded in brilliance or for some form to walk through the door wearing a handy name badge that says “Hello, my name is Inspiration” which will hand me a briefcase full of tantilizing blog post morsels.
Yet, as I scour the reserviours of the mass that has taken residency in my cranium, only two thoughts rise to the surface. The first is that I am a second year, in my second term, in the second month of the year. 2 + 2 + 2 = 6, which happens to be today’s date, and if you add the whole of today’s date together it equals 15 which (like 6) is divisible by 3 to equal 5. And if you start your week with Sunday, that makes Thursday the fifth day of the week.
Now as much as all that is fascinating, and as much fun as someone much more scholarly could have with whatever any of that does or means, I think I will proceed with my second thought, a thought about kindness and gentleness.
Working with youth and having six (there’s that number again) nieces and nephews, I have found myself using the phrases “Nice touches”, “Gentle touches”, and “Kind touches” more times than I could probably count. It’s a fairly common phrase I would think, in our attempts to teach our children how to be kind and gentle with people, animals, and things, all that they encounter and touch in the world around them, a world of which they are growing more aware and more a part. In order to show the relationship between us and others, cause and effect. Eventually they will learn it.
It is such a simple lesson, but it’s one I wonder if we forget as we grow up. We touch so many in our daily lives - friends, strangers, family, lovers, co-workers. But, are we remembering to keep our touches kind and gentle? Moreover, are we also allowing that kindness and gentleness to extend to ourselves, giving ourselves the rest, room, and capacity to breathe? Perhaps many will push back on this, and they have every right to do as they like, however, I think in this busy, anxiety-driven, stress-filled society, a little gentleness and kindness is needed and may go much further than expected. Being numbers eight and five of the nine fruits of the Spirit (8+5+9 = 22, in case you were wondering), they have the capacity to be seeds yielding an influencial crop.
So, remember, as deadlines, appointments, or whatever else is bearing down on you like a freight train - please, be kind with one another. And be gentle with yourself.
Written by Rebecca Dix, M.Div. student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary