Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

The other night I watched Les Miserables for the first time. Have you ever seen that movie? Well if you haven’t, it’s about a man named Jean ValJean who steals a loaf of bread. For this small crime he is sent to prison for five years. Twice he tries to escape, and this only adds to his time there- Jean ends up spending twenty years in jail all because of a loaf of bread. The night before he finally escapes, Jean makes a vow to kill Javert, the cruel prison master. So he runs away and is given a room and food for the night from a kind old bishop. In the middle of the night, the “convict” sneaks out and steals all of the bishop’s silver except the candlesticks. In the morning, he is brought back to the bishop’s house by the police for stealing, but the bishop tells them that he gave him the silver. Jean asks the bishop why he would do that for an evil man like him, and the bishop says to him, “Any man who was created good by God cannot be turned completely evil by man.” and he hands him the candlesticks and lets him go. Later on, ValJean has a chance to kill Javert, but instead he lets him go and forgives him of all he did to him. Finally, at the end of the play, Javert lets Jean go free, even though Javert said that there was no God, only a right and wrong, and that Jean deserved to be punished for his wrong.  Ia man who had not even an inkling of a belief in God, a man who hunted down another for all his life, but then showed him compassion and gentleness, than shouldn’t we all be able to? These three major instances of gentleness should give us all hope for each other.

Being gentle is much more than just handling an object with care, it is showing love, respect, and understanding for our fellow man. Can you do that, for God?

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