I’d never really thought of myself this way before Texas.
Soft. Mild. Tender. Kind. Meek. Noble.
I hadn’t ever considered that word in a list of adjectives to describe myself. Not that I didn’t feel kind, but I didn’t envision that particular word as such an all-encompassing definition of me.
But I went to Texas, and it kept being presented to me.
People I’d known for less than 48-hours ascribed it to me over and over again. One of my new friends, Des, said it in passing that second day. “Gentle Kristin.” I paused and noted the remark, but didn’t think too much of it.
Until the commissioning ceremony we had that last night in Texas.
It was dark out, there were torches lit everywhere and beautiful white crosses stood marking the spots for teams to gather around. Our team leaders were coming to each of us individually to speak over us. When Mike and Jamie stopped by me, I heard it again. “I just sense this gentle, nurturing spirit in you.”
With those words, it was like God cemented that description in my mind. I could see the need for it. I was about to embark on a journey to share Jesus with children who don’t always feel loved or worth. What better way to be around them than gentle? One of my teammates had asked me what I felt like I’d be bringing to the team. At the time, I didn’t know. After commissioning, I did.
I was going to be gentle.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23, ESV