• Maria Whittaker

Gentle Father


God is such a gentle worker.

The process of sanctification is a long and hard one. For a long time, I was terrified to pray and ask God to do whatever it takes for me to be holy and useful to Him. I was afraid that immediately afterwards, I would lose my eyesight or a loved one or something so tragic and dramatic would happen that it would make me irrevocably holy and forevermore focused completely on God because I have nothing else to live for.

It's the same fear that drives me, every time I repent of something and ask for change, to hurriedly add, "But do it gently. Please be gentle with me."

Love is gentle. My Father is so kind. What I am slowly beginning to understand is that His work of sanctification, rather than being dramatic, is a slow, painstaking work of tiny chips and nudges in the right direction. Little shifts, small trials, many, many redirections. It seems to me God resorts to more dramatic action when the little things aren't working, much like I do with my students.

I wonder at this and it seems illogical to me. Why not just do the work as efficiently as possible? Who can understand God? But I have a theory. The thing about disciplining and correcting and redirecting and training up in way to go of a person is that you can either be working with someone you care about, or someone you don't. You're either doing your job because it needs to be done or because you not only desire the person's good but also deeply care about their happiness. And the more deeply you care, the more each "chip" that causes the person hurt, hurts you. It hurts when you hurt them, even if it is for their own good.

It hurts my Father when He hurts me. He cares about my happiness; He is working on making me pain-free forever. So His work with me is gentle and He considers carefully what He allows that both pains and refines me. And the same for you. You are an equally valued child, a prized member of the Holy Family. His work with you is gentle, and kind.

So remember, wherever you may find yourself, He is feeling your pain. He is carefully caring that you are not crushed, but healed. He is a kind Father. He is a hard Worker, a good Teacher, with a gentle hand.

Carpe Diem, beloved.

Fondly, Mars.


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