As the Song Says, "Stay Gentle"
“Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Mark 10: 15. The Message
I recently came across the new Brandi Carlile album, In These Silent Days. (I know, I have been on a music kick lately.) Brandi Carlile has a very soulful voice and this album is a respite during our daily struggles in these COVID times. This album has been nominated for some Grammy awards. Many of her songs, contained on this album, speak to me and console me.
On this album, you will find a song titled “Stay Gentle.” This song spoke to me. It starts “Stay Gentle, keep the eyes of a child, don’t harden your heart or your hands.”
This song and this first verse made me rethink Mark 10:15. The song encourages us to act gently like we are children. Just watch toddlers. They hug, they play and usually are loving to one another. I remember all of those little kisses I got when my boys were little.
This song calls for us to go back to those happy-go-lucky days. It calls for us to be something other than argumentative adults. Society views stubbornness and fortitude as positive character traits. But, are they? I know I tend to be a bully when I think I am right. But, is it God’s way? - this song reminds us that it isn’t.
Another line of lyrics to the song is: “Don’t let’em lower your shoulders love them more while they try.” Hearing this line reminds me of the recent discourses in this nation. It seems that we can’t debate each other anymore. Our opinions are personal now, and if someone disagrees with us, we take it as a personal affront. The lyric calls us to manage conflict in a Christian manner. Debate/conflict is inevitable in our society. If we do it from a place of love, we can work out our differences with anyone.
“The kingdom of heaven belongs to a boy, while his worry belongs to a man.” The last verse of the song brings home the lesson of Mark 10:15 for me. I hadn’t associated worry and concern as not accepting the promise of the kingdom of heaven. When you think a bit deeper, there is very little worry for a child. Generally, our children laugh and play and accept each day as it comes. Only when we “grow up” do worry and fear sneak into our lives. I think it’s because we let go of the promise of Christ and replace it with the responsibilities of this world. In reality, worry distracts us from accepting God’s gifts. Worry makes us possessive and less likely to share our gifts. If we want to be in the kingdom, we must accept our place in it without the worries created in this world. Simplicity is worry free.
As we start this New Year, and deal with recent COVID developments, let’s pledge to be gentle. Let’s approach conflict and disagreement with love of one another. Let’s forgive each other and ourselves for mistakes. Let’s not take disagreement personally and seek retribution. Lastly, let’s take care of one another.
May God bless you with gentle days this 2022.