As the enemy occupation of the Netherlands increased, Anne Frank and her family bravely prepared and then moved to a secret hiding place to escape the danger. They hid there two years during World War II before being found and sent to concentration camps. Yet Anne, writing in what became her famous Diary of a Young Girl, said this: "In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit."
Gentleness can be a complicated issue as we deal with real life.
In Isaiah 40 we get a picture of God that shows Him to be both gentle and powerful. In verse 11 we read: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms." But that verse follows this: "See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm" (v. 10). Full of power, but gentle when it comes to protecting the vulnerable.
And think of Jesus, who fashioned a whip and brandished it as He flipped over the money-changers tables in the temple but who also gently cared for children. He used powerful words to denounce the Pharisees (Matthew 23) but forgave a woman who needed His gentle mercy (John 8:1-11).
While there may be times to stand up with power for the weak and challenge others to pursue justice-we're also to "let [our] gentleness be evident to all" (Philippians 4:5). As we serve God, sometimes our greatest strength reveals a heart of gentleness to those in need.