Feasting on Fruit: Gentleness

May 18th, 2014
Gentleness: Knees to Chest

Breathe In

You might begin by exhaling gentleness' opposite which is harshness and hardness. Imagine gentleness filling and spreading through your body with each inhale and letting go of any harshness or hardness with each exhale.

Soon you'll not only be able to picture yourself breathing in gentleness but you will have such an abundance of gentleness it will overflow and you'll begin breathing out gentleness into the world. Practice consciously breathing gentleness in and out as long as desired.

Look at today's body prayer, notice the simplicity and gentleness of this restorative posture. Rest in the posture allowing your body to experience a deeper welcome and awareness of this particular fruit of the Spirit.

  • Continue the flow of fruit in your body by beginning with the love posture, moving into and through joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and resting in gentleness.
  • You might combine the posture of gentleness with the breathing described above. God delights in your prayer of gentleness filling and being embodied by your own body.
  • Invite your mind and will to join the body prayer. Through the Holy Spirit, we are freely offered the wisdom of God, the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2). Whether combined with the posture or said lying in bed, driving in your car, standing in a line somewhere, joining others at church, you can prayerfully say,

I have the mind of Christ.
My mind is full of gentleness.
I choose gentleness today in my
thoughts, words, decisions, and actions. 

Breathe Out

How can you breathe out gentleness everywhere you go? Remember Hildegard of Bingen's words and imagine being “a feather on the breath of God.” A feather certainly has a gentleness to it giving it a willingness to be carried wherever the wind blows.

  • As you sit in church or consider the people you worship with, pray and envision gentleness being breathed over or perhaps growing and ripening in your congregation. Imagine gentleness growing within each person, breathed among the people gathered there.
  • Figuratively or literally walk God's gentleness through your own neighborhood or larger community. Perhaps look at a community map and divide it into nine areas to pray over. You may even take your own body of gentleness and walk through each area and with each breath, blessing it with this fruit of the Spirit.
  • Looking at a world map, you might consider praying for these nine areas—the seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America), eight being all bodies of water and nine, all air/space. Whether you pray for a particular area and its inhabitants or over all areas, allow yourself to be led by the Spirit whether with words, picturing gentleness in a certain place, or silently offering that area to God.

More ways to breathe out and kindle the fire of gentleness in the world:

  • Turning to the New Testament stories of Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter's vision of the sheet coming down and conversation with Cornelius (Acts 10) and Paul's blinding on the road to Damascus (Acts 22), enter in with all of your senses and pay attention to how gentleness may be present.
  • What part of your own self is asking for gentleness?

As you consider the Scriptures you've read, any dreams and conversations or times of prayer, do you have a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying about gentleness in your own internal world?

  • Who is the Spirit bringing to mind that is in need of greater gentleness in your external world—workplace, church, neighborhood, family, etc.? Is there a particular person or group of people coming to your awareness that is asking for gentleness today? How might the Holy Spirit be inviting you to widen the welcome by bringing and offering gentleness to the world? Ask the Spirit to show you what simple step you can take now in offering the fruit of gentleness.

This full series will be posted here.


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