If my mother was the cheerleader, then my dad was the opposite. He never overtly shouted his children’s praise from the rooftops as my mother; rather he kept the pride he felt towards his children to himself.
For a 10th grade choir concert, I was selected for a solo. The morning after the concert, my dad was taking me to school and while still in the neighborhood he said to me, “Hearing you sing that solo last night was the first time I’ve ever heard you sing like that. It made me proud of you.” I did what any teenager would do, sort of said thanks but tried to play it off in a cool way.
This moment had a profound impact, and it still plays in my head from time to time. If I could use a word to describe it my dad’s demeanor, it would be “gentle.” He didn’t scream his pride from the rooftops, or call all the neighbors, it was a simple “I’m proud of you” spoken softly to me.
We cannot hear the shouts of joy from the pride God shares in Heaven for his children’s deeds. But I do think we can feel a bit of God’s pride he whispers to us gently when we do something good. It’s the warmth created in our hearts when we help a neighbor, or treat someone with kindness.
If we live out our faith, we will feel God’s gentleness and we will seek to spread that gentleness to others. Not in a prideful way that focuses the attention on us, but in a manner that puts the attention back on God.
Almighty God, as I feel your gentleness, help me to show gentleness to others. Amen.